A businesswoman suing media mogul Harvey Weinstein, claiming that he raped her in 2011, has released video showing the two of them just hours before the alleged assault.
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“Hello, Melissa Thompson,” he says.
“Hello, Harvey Weinstein,” she says.
As she goes to shake his hand, Weinstein instead gives Thompson, then 28, a hug, caressing her back.
“That’s nice,” he says. “Let’s keep it up.”
Video from that meeting, which Thompson took on her laptop in 2011 as a recorded presentation, aired on Sky News Wednesday as part of an exclusive interview with Thompson.
The 2011 meeting was part of a pitch by Thompson to get Weinstein to use her tech startup company, she said. Only portions of the video from 2011 were aired on the British TV network Wednesday.
“Data’s so hot,” Thompson says later in the video.
“It is hot,” Weinstein says. “You’re hot.”
In the video, he can also be seen rubbing her shoulder and asking whether he’s allowed to flirt with her. A little bit, she tells him.
She told Sky News Wednesday that he’d also touched her under the table.
“A little bit,” she tells him in the video. “A little high. That’s a little high. That’s a little high.”
Thompson said Wednesday that she was trying to “save face” at first during the meeting.
“(I was) trying to manage the situation,” she said.
At the end of the meeting, Weinstein can be heard asking Thompson to meet him for a drink at a hotel. Thompson told Sky News Wednesday that she thought the two were going to meet and close the deal on the startup pitch. Instead, Thompson said, he raped her.
According to The Associated Press, she filed a lawsuit in June, saying that he’d raped her that night at a hotel.
Weinsten has denied all nonconsensual sexual contact. His attorney Benjamin Brafman told Sky News that when viewed in its entirety, the video shows there is nothing forceful in Weinstein’s actions.
Brafman said the video shows “casual, if not awkward, flirting from both parties.”
“This is a further attempt to publicly disgrace Mr Weinstein for financial gain, and we will not stand for it,” he said.
Weinstein has been indicted on sex crime accusations involving three women in New York but not Thompson, according to the AP.
Weinstein is due back in court in Manhattan Sept. 20.