Harvey Weinstein lured TV reporter Lauren Sivan into a quiet place in 2007 and then engaged in a “disgusting and kind of pathetic” display of sexual harassment, Sivan said in her first television interview about the encounter.
Appearing Monday on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today,” Sivan — who is now a reporter with KTTV, a Fox affiliate in Los Angeles — said the movie mogul took her downstairs at the New York City restaurant Cipriani, cornered her in a vestibule, tried to kiss her and then masturbated in front of her. She said Weinstein got her downstairs by offering her a tour of the kitchen.
“I could not believe what I was witnessing,” Sivan told Kelly. “It was disgusting and kind of pathetic.… More than the disgusting act itself, which of course was gross, the demeaning part of it all, that just 20 minutes earlier he was having this great conversation with me and I felt so great and flattered by it. And then [he said], ‘Stand there and be quiet,’ just a few minutes later, just negated any warm feelings I had, and I realized, ‘Oh, that is what this is all about.’”
Sivan, who was a reporter with New York cable channel News 12 Long Island at the time, did not publicly tell her story until this weekend, after the New York Times published a report on multiple alleged incidents of sexual harassment by Weinstein.
Weinstein was fired by his company Sunday amid the allegations.
Sivan said Weinstein’s apology, which followed the report Thursday, spurred her to come forward. In his statement, Weinstein apologized for unspecified past behavior, yet he also blamed his conduct on coming of age “in the ’60s and ’70s, when all of the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.”
Sivan first told her story to the HuffPost on Saturday.
“That apology was the final straw for me, and so when I was contacted by a reporter, that’s when I said, ‘Oh, no, enough is enough with this guy,’” Sivan told Kelly. “There was no remorse; there was no, even, acknowledgment of the type of behavior that was going on. If he did this with me, who is just a stranger, who is not an actress in Hollywood and doesn’t need anything from him, I can only imagine how many other women something like this has happened to.”
Kelly said Weinstein did not respond to a request to comment on the allegations Sivan presented on her program.