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Thursday November 23rd, 2017 8:16AM

Former production assistant alleges Weinstein sexual assault

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — A former Weinstein Co. production assistant has come forward alleging that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her after her repeated refusals.

In a press conference Tuesday in New York held by attorney Gloria Allred, Mimi Haleyi claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006. Haleyi was in her 20s at the time, Allred said.

In graphic detail, Haleyi described Weinstein holding her down at his New York apartment in what she said appeared to be a child's bedroom.

"He was extremely persistent and physically overpowering," said Haleyi. "He then orally forced himself on me, while I was on my period. He even pulled my tampon out. I was mortified."

Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister said Tuesday, "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein."

Among the dozens — including Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd — who have claimed Weinstein sexually harassed them, several women have said Weinstein raped them. Police in Los Angeles, New York and London are investigating rape allegations.

Actress Rose McGowan recently went public with her allegation that Weinstein raped her after reaching a settlement with Weinstein in 1997. Italian filmmaker and actress Asia Argento and one-time aspiring actress Lucia Evans told The New Yorker that Weinstein sexually assaulted them by forced oral sex.

Haleyi said she first met Weinstein at the London premiere of "The Aviator" in 2004. She encountered him again at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. She expressed interest in working on one of his films and he invited her to his hotel room and asked for a massage.

Haleyi refused, replying, "No sorry, I'm not a masseuse," and suggesting he instead contact hotel reception. More meetings followed, though, including an invitation from Weinstein to attend a fashion show in Paris. She worked as a production assistant on a Weinstein Co.-produced television series, though she and Allred declined to name the show.

The alleged incident occurred at Weinstein's Soho apartment after the movie producer sent a car to pick up Haleyi. She began crying Tuesday as she recounted what she thought would be a professional meeting.

"I would not have wanted anyone to do that to me, even if that person had been a romantic partner," said Haleyi. "I remember Harvey rolling over and saying, 'Don't you feel like we're so much closer now?'"

Allred, who is representing other women who have made allegations against Weinstein, declined to say whether Haleyi will file criminal or civil charges.

But Allred called on Weinstein to meet with her and make amends to the alleged victims.

"We need justice for these victims," said Allred. "Vague apologies are not enough. It's time for him to take meaningful actions."

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