The TV reporter who says Harvey Weinstein cornered her and masturbated in front of her in an empty restaurant has spoken out on the “Today” show.
On Monday, Lauren Sivan told host Megyn Kelly about the alleged encounter with the Hollywood super-producer, who was fired on Sunday from The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded.
Sivan called the experience “disgusting and kind of pathetic.”
She said the incident happened a decade ago, when she met Weinstein at a Manhattan restaurant and then rode with him to Socialista, a Cuban-themed club and restaurant that counted Weinstein as an investor. The producer offered to give Sivan a tour, allegedly luring her into the kitchen, where he asked the remaining staff to leave.
Sivan told Kelly that once they were alone, Weinstein tried to kiss her. She “immediately rebuffed” his advances, saying she had a boyfriend and was not interested.
““And I thought it would end there. But that’s when he blocked the [exit] and said, ‘Well then just stand there and be quiet.’””
“And I thought it would end there,” Sivan told Kelly. “But that’s when he blocked the [exit] and said, ‘Well then, just stand there and be quiet.’”
Sivan said at first she was completely confused by the request, but then he “immediately exposed himself, and began pleasuring himself and I just stood there dumbfounded,” she said. “I was so shocked. I could not believe what I was witnessing.”
Looking back on the experience, however, Sivan describes the “demeaning part of it all” as what stands out the most in her memory.
“Twenty minutes earlier he was having this great conversation with me,” she said. “I felt so great and flattered by it. And then [to be told to] stand there and be quiet just a few minutes later just negated any warm feelings.”
Kelly later asked Sivan why she didn’t come forward right away.
“At the time, I had this great job,” said Sivan, who at the time was a news anchor on Long Island 12, a local cable channel in New York. “I was living with my boyfriend in the city. I had this great life. I didn’t know what going public would do for me.”
She added that didn’t think she’d have to interact with Weinstein again and wondered if she was partially to blame for the incident.
Sivan also detailed a chilling phone call she had with Weinstein, who allegedly called her the next day at Long Island 12 to say he wanted to see her again. She said she quickly rejected his offer and hung up.
Sivan visited “Today” just a few days after The New York Times dropped a bombshell report on Weinstein revealing that he settled at least eight sexual harassment claims in his prolific career. Sivan told Kelly that the Times’ report was “the final straw,” finally compelling her to come forward with her story.
“If he did this with me,” she told Kelly, “I can only imagine how many other women something like this has happened to.”