Another day, another upsetting story about Harvey Weinstein…
Earlier this week, actress-turned-writer Marisa Coughlan detailed an encounter with the disgraced movie mogul where he attempted to barter a role in a film for sex. Ugh.
Per Miz Coughlan’s account to The Hollywood Reporter, the blonde industry vet first met Weinstein for a brief moment while at the Teaching Mrs. Tingle premiere in Westwood, CA in 1999. At this time, Marisa was also cast in a Miramax TV show, titled Wasteland. Since Weinstein had his hands in both projects, making him technically her boss, Coughlan felt compelled to say hello to him when she later ran into him at a restaurant.
“I said hello briefly and went back to my table and didn’t talk to him again that night.”
Thus, she was very shocked when the bill came and it was revealed that Weinstein had paid for Marisa “and [her] three girlfriends.”
Wanting to be polite, Marisa sent a thank you note to the scandalized producer’s New York office. Although Marisa thought that was the end of the story, Weinstein called her a “week or so later.” Supposedly, the now 65-year-old said he was “calling a classy lady to thank her for a classy note.” While Harvey offered up many compliments, he came off professional as he requested to meet with her at the Peninsula Hotel to discuss a few projects.
Marisa wasn’t bothered with the meet up location, as she explained:
“I was informed that the meeting would be at the Peninsula, which was not abnormal at all… It’s like a mini-office with assistants running around and lots of activity.”
However, there was something different about Weinstein’s Peninsula set up. Upon arriving at Harvey’s “gigantic penthouse,” Marisa witnessed:
“There were a few assistants there when I arrived but they literally left the suite like the place was on fire. I didn’t process why until later.”
After discussing a few projects, including a potential lead in a Miramax movie, Harvey made an unsavory proposition to the Super Troopers actress. Marisa, who was only 25 at the time, recalls:
“He told me that he has a lot of ‘special friends’ and they give each other massages. It was a full-court press. He wanted me to be one of his ‘special friends’ and go into the bedroom. I told him that I had a serious boyfriend and reminded him that he was married and that we should keep this professional. I was so blindsided. Not one ounce of me anticipated it. It was the weirdest meeting I’ve ever had in my life.”
Ew, ew, EWWWWWW! What bugged Coughlan most about the come on was how “transactional” it felt. Marisa left the meeting without incident, but Weinstein did follow up as he sent a script to her agents. He also called and offered to fly her out to New York so they could partake in “romantic” outings.
Marisa reluctantly agreed to meet with Harvey one more time, but insisted they sit down in a public space. On their second meeting, Coughlan shared:
“I sat down and explained that I wanted to be really clear. I told him again that I have a serious boyfriend and I was never going to do anything physical or romantic… It was super uncomfortable, remember, because I was employed by his studio at the time. He seemed so flabbergasted that I wasn’t going to go there. I was shocked that he was so shocked.”
After the rejection, the Hollywood heavyweight asked Marisa to drive him back to the Peninsula. Once the twosome arrived at the hotel, Harvey “pushed and pushed and pushed” for Marisa to come up to his room. Coughlan turned down Weinstein’s advances once again and he stormed out of her car — only to walk back and say that he “respected her.” Yeah, sure.
Days later, the lead role Harvey teased Marisa with was given to another actress. On whether she knew the extent of Harvey’s predatory ways, Marisa noted:
“What happened to me, even though it was uncomfortable, was much more of a transactional situation. He wanted to barter sex for movie roles. In other cases, he was forcing himself on them. It’s so shocking that he got away with it for as long as he did. I never realized the scope of it. I felt like an island and naively didn’t know how pervasive it was.”
Unsurprisingly, Marisa is standing by the other Harvey accusers — which include A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, and Rose McGowan. In regards to the power Weinstein once wielded in Hollywood, the Minnesota native concluded:
“I can’t imagine a more intimidating person to go up against. During his heyday, he was scary as hell. I saw him yell at assistants and servers, but then saw him turn on a dime and be so charming. There’s definitely some Jekyll and Hyde going on there. It’s taken this many to come forward to have this happen ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ there’s definitely strength in numbers.”
Hear! Hear! We couldn’t be more grateful that so many women are speaking up now!
[Image via WENN.]