Maybe you’ve wondered, as the allegations of sexual-harassment, and worse, have piled up against producer Harvey Weinstein, about all those meetings that took place in hotel rooms.
In most industries, where meetings occur in offices and conference rooms and, in general, in facilities without showers or bedrooms, the hotel thing could seem fishy.
But as Bristol, Bucks County-born actress Lauren Holly (NCIS, Picket Fences) explained on a Canadian talk show, CTV’s The Social, where on Monday she told of her own Weinstein encounter, it was “not abnormal at all” to have a producer ask to meet her in a hotel room.
“I had met with directors, writers, producers frequently in hotel rooms, hotel suites. There was alcohol sometimes. This was absolutely normal. I read some accounts that people were nervous. I wasn’t nervous at all. I had done this many times…and I was going to meet with a man whom I’d already known and met, so I was really at ease,” said Holly, who starred in the Weinstein-produced 1996 film Beautiful Girls.
And as Holly, who was born in Bristol but largely grew up in Geneva, N.Y., recounts the incident, it sounds as if Weinstein was all business — at least until he excused himself and returned wearing the hotel bathrobe. “No doubt it was odd,” said Holly, who went on to describe her growing confusion as the producer continued to discuss scripts and projects even as he proceeded to take a shower.
“My head is going crazy at this point. He’s acting like the situation is normal. … I’m thinking to myself, ‘Am I just a prude?'”
Eventually, Weinstein emerged from the shower, but did not put on his robe.
“When he came toward me [naked], everything changed,” Holly said. “I wanted to flee. I was scared. He told me I looked ‘stressed.’ He said that he thought that maybe I could use a massage. Maybe I could give him a massage…I began sort of babbling like I was a child,” she said, at one point suggesting that they could the front desk to get a masseuse.
“And then he began to get angry,” and she grew afraid. She said he warned her that it would be bad for her career if she left, that she needed him as “an ally.”
And then, “I pushed him, and ran.”
On Friday, Canada’s Globe and Mail ran an op-ed piece by actress and writer Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries) who, rather than wasting “precious space” in describing her own, apparently unpleasant, experience with Weinstein, chose to urge instead that the unions, including the Screen Actors Guild, whose job it is to protect actors, actually made some moves to do so.
“First of all, can we agree that no more meetings for anything related to work be held in hotel rooms?” Kirshner wrote.