One of Harvey Weinstein’s chief accusers applauded Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Kate Winslet and other A-listers for condemning the movie mogul’s predatory predilections.
“I’m glad they came forward,” Lauren Sivan told the Daily News on Monday. “They’ve been fighting for years on really important issues. They have to be there for women when things like this happen.”
Sivan, 39, said she took Streep at her word the Oscar winner didn’t know Weinstein made a habit of preying on young women.
“Meryl Streep said she had no idea, and that’s completely possible,” Sivan said.
“In my opinion, it was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood. He was known for this type of behavior. Maybe not as graphic as he displayed to me. But anyone I spoke to about my experience was not shocked. They said, ‘That’s Harvey.’ “
Sivan, a former TV news anchor at Long Island 12, stepped forward Friday with claims Weinstein cornered her in a New York restaurant that was closed to the public and forced her to watch him masturbate.
It was 2007, and Weinstein told her to “stand there and shut up” as he pleasured himself, she first told The Huffington Post.
Sivan said Weinstein ejaculated quickly into a potted plant, zipped up his pants and walked away.
Speaking Monday, Sivan said she finally felt comfortable enough to tell her story after The Times published an exposé last week with allegations Weinstein sexually harassed a long line of employees and actresses, including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
“He trapped me in that (restaurant) area, exposed himself to me. He did masturbate. It was all very gross and disturbing and scary. It was so graphic and so perverse. Perhaps he took extra liberty with me because I was someone he didn’t really know,” she told The News.
Sivan said she kept her story to a circle of trusted confidants for a decade. When Weinstein issued a rambling apology brimming with excuses Thursday and then threatened to sue The Times, she decided to go public.
“He’s not remorseful. He’s not sorry,” she said. “He was calling these women liars. I knew better, and I knew I could step in and help validate their stories and I wanted to do that.”
She said The Weinstein Company did the right thing by firing the disgraced super producer Sunday night. It’s no surprise the company reportedly plans to change its name in the aftermath, she said.
“No kidding the (Weinstein) name is toxic,” Sivan said. “It was so powerful and so feared for so long. He was allowed to get away with things no one should be allowed to get away with. It took a lot to take him down. This was decades in the making.”
Asked about a groveling letter Weinstein, 65, reportedly sent to fellow studio bosses and network heads before his firing, Sivan said it was hardly a surprise.
In the letter first revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein said he was “desperate” for help and that “a lot of the allegations are false.”
He reportedly begged for supportive messages to forward to his fellow TWC board members.
“That just speaks to how he solves his problems. He’s always relied on people to have his back. He was always so powerful and such a huge force,” Sivan said of the whiny letter. “I just hope as these things come to light, no one wants to be part of defending him anymore.”
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