This is not the worst story we’ve heard of Harvey Weinstein‘s abhorrent behavior, but it is probably the most memorable.
In case you haven’t heard, reporter Lauren Sivan recounted last week the time the producer cornered her in a club called Cafe Socialista and kept her from leaving.
When she rebuffed his advances, she says Harvey told her to shut up and not move — and exposed himself in front of her and masturbated into a potted plant.
The kind of detail you can’t make up was plenty of reason to believe this account immediately, but now we have corroboration — from someone else Harvey told to keep quiet.
Armin Amiri, the then-owner of the NYC hotspot, is now telling The Hollywood Reporter his side of Sivan’s story. He recalls:
“What I remember about this incident is that my sous chef came into my office, furious, telling me that ├óΓé¼╦£some fat fuck’ saying he’s an owner ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ he didn’t know the name ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ had come into the kitchen with a woman and shoved a $100 bill at him and told him to get out. It was like 1:30 in the morning and he’d been the only one still there. The chef told me he was going to quit.”
Amiri says he walked back with his chef to find Weinstein “fixing his belt” behind the bar — he never saw Sivan.
Here’s where the two tales differ slightly; while Sivan remembered it was a potted plant into which Weinstein ejaculated, Amiri says it was a cooking dish:
“My chef and I go to the kitchen. He picks up a pot that had been placed back on the stove. It had been defiled. It was so bizarre. We couldn’t believe it happened.”
Maybe someone is remembering incorrectly? Eww, we guess it could have been both a potted plant AND a pot…
Amiri, an aspiring actor who appeared in a film Harvey produced called Factory Girl, says he “never confronted” the producer because he “couldn’t prove any of it” anyway.
But his memory of the event was enough for him to refuse Weinstein — who contacted him out of the blue last week asking him to make a statement saying he “hadn’t seen anything that night.”
“I told them I knew something happened that night, I just hadn’t known what specifically. I couldn’t make a statement absolving him because when she came forward, my memory clicked.”
As for why he’s saying something after all this time, Amiri says:
“My heart goes out to all the brave women who have come forward. Once Ms. Sivan spoke out, and after being contacted by several media outlets, I’ve felt responsible to state what I remembered.”
Like we said, we absolutely believed her already. But we appreciate him doing the right thing.