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Melissa Thompson releases Weinstein footage hours before she says he raped her
Melissa Thompson, one of the dozens of women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of unwanted sexual advances, on Thursday released a video to Sky News showing an awkward meeting between her and Weinstein hours before she says he raped her.
The video begins moments before Weinstein enters the room, and depicts several agonizingly awkward interactions before talk begins of the job Thomson is pitching. Thompson, who was 28 at the time in 2011, filmed the meeting as part of the demo for the tech startup she was working for.
The video depicts several uncomfortable interactions, from sly comments about flirting and Weinstein asking Thompson “let me have a little bit of you. Give it to me,” to stiff embraces and the slow slide of his hand up and down her arm.
“At some point, his whole affect changed and he looked like a predator,” she said. “His eyes became dark.”
Weinstein asks Thompson, near the end of the video, if she can meet him later for a drink. They agree to meet at the TriBeCa Grand at 5:30pm. Thompson said when she arrived he told her to follow him, presumably to a conference room to close the deal, but they instead made their way to his hotel room. There, she says he raped her.
“I constantly felt trapped. No matter where I turned,” she said.
“Had people been more vocal and not said ‘yeah that’s Harvey’ or ‘yeah we have to live with that.’ You don’t,” she said of the time following the alleged rape. “We don’t have to live with things that are illegal and abusive, and we don’t have to live with being raped when we think we are going to a business meeting.”
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, released a statement saying the video showed nothing but “casual if not awkward flirting from both parties.”
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.