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Gloria Allred's New Client Says Weinstein Tried to Masturbate in Front of Her

Allred is representing Louisette Geiss, a former actress and screenwriter, who alleges Weinstein harassed her in his hotel room in 2008.

by Drew Schwartz
Oct 10 2017, 9:09pm

Screenshot via TMZ livestream.

The sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein have only snowballed since a bombshell report in the New York Times uncovered decades of alleged sexual harassment at the hands of the Hollywood mogul. By Tuesday, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie came forward with their own harrowing accounts in the Times, and the New Yorker revealed a set of new claims that allege Weinstein raped three women.

Now, former Hollywood actress and screenwriter Louisette Geiss has accused Weinstein of exposing himself to her and attempting to masturbate in front of her in 2008 during the Sundance Film Festival. Geiss detailed the alleged account during a press conference on Tuesday, alongside her lawyer, famed women's rights attorney Gloria Allred, whose daughter Lisa Bloom served on Weinstein's legal team before resigning over the weekend.

Geiss says she met Weinstein for dinner and then at his office, adjacent to his hotel room in Park City, Utah, to discuss a script she was shopping around at the time. After telling him she'd take the meeting with him only if he promised not to touch her, he allegedly excused himself 30 minutes into the meeting and returned "buck naked," in a bathrobe that was open down the front. Geiss said he then got into his hot tub and begged her to watch him masturbate.

"As I went to get my purse to leave, he grabbed my forearm and pulled me to his bathroom and pleaded with me to watch him masturbate," Geiss said. "My heart was racing and I was very scared."

Geiss said she managed to leave the hotel room without complying to Weinstein's request—an alleged account similar to the one TV reporter Lauren Sivan detailed to Huffington Post—and says the experience led her to leave the film industry. Now, Allred is hoping Weinstein will resolve the dispute through mediation or arbitration—a closed-door legal proceeding between Weinstein and his victims, presided over by a retired judge—since the statute of limitations for Geiss's case has expired.

Allred said Tuesday she's been contacted by several women who allege they've been sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein, after telling the Wrap she'd be willing to represent his accusers, "even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel."

"Women's voices matter. Women are now empowered," Allred said Tuesday. "And the 'casting couch' scenario is just going to have to end."

Before Bloom left Weinstein's legal team, she had emailed the Weinstein Company's board of directors saying that there would be "more and different reporting, highlighting inaccuracies, including photos of several of the accusers in very friendly poses with Harvey after his alleged misconduct," a missive obtained by Huffington Post. She called the Times's first exposé "largely false and defamatory," before leaving Weinstein's legal team on Saturday. Since then, several members of the Weinstein Company's board resigned, and Weinstein has been fired from the company he co-founded.

Follow Drew Schwartz on Twitter.

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rape
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