A former actress has come forward for the first time to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room in 2001 – and claims the incident led to a speaking role in Gwyneth Paltrow film ‘View From The Top’.
Little-known star Lisa Pekar told The Wrap Weinstein made her strip down to just a pair of red stilettos for a supposed ‘audition’ where he said she needed to ‘lose 10 pounds’ before forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
Weinstein’s spokesman categorically denied the latest allegation, telling DailyMail.com he is willing to take a polygraph to prove his innocence.
Little-known star Lisa Pekar has come forward to allege Weinstein assaulted her in 2001
Latest allegation comes as Weinstein, pictured attending court in 2020, attempts to overturn his conviction
During the alleged incident, Pekar said she ‘froze’ as the disgraced movie mogul disrobed before begging him to stop as he was ‘smashing my face into his mangled mess of genitalia’.
She claims Weinstein, now 70, then growled ‘you’re really ruining the mood’ and later told her ‘I wouldn’t mention this if I were you.’
But days after his assistant rang Pekar to offer her a role opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in her critically-panned 2003 romantic comedy ‘View From The Top’ about an ambitious flight attendant.
In the end Pekar only had one line in the movie, adding her role was originally meant to be more prominent.
Pekar, pictured, describes how she ‘froze’ after Weinstein disrobed, but told him ‘no’
Weinstein allegedly scored Pekar a one-line role in Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2003 film View From The Top shortly after he assaulted her
Pekar claimed the assault ‘ended’ her career, prompting her to quit acting and focus on producing and writing instead.
Her IMDB page shows no acting roles and makes no reference to the View From The Top. She has only a handful of writing and producing credits.
The allegation comes as Weinstein’s lawyers launch an aggressive mission to shorten his jailtime.
Earlier this month they submitted a bid to overturn his 2020 rape and sexual assault conviction – for which he is serving 23 years in prison – claiming the Manhattan trial judge had been influenced by public interest in the ‘#MeToo’ movement.
And despite being found guilty of rape and sexual assault in a second trial in Los Angeles in December, sentencing has been delayed as his attorneys seek a new trial in California.
Pekar’s role in View From The Top – starring Paltrow, pictured, – is not mentioned on her IMDB page
In a moving post, Pekar says the latest news inspired her to speak out, adding the fear of ‘retaliation’ and ‘not being believed’ stopped her from doing so sooner.
She wrote: ‘This current period has been particularly challenging with Weinstein’s recent Los Angeles trial and the state of New York agreeing to hear his appeal, and so I have come forward now because I feel the weight of not standing with the other victims weighing heavily on me.
‘If it took me this long to come forward, how many more victims are out there?’
Pekar says she was working as a hostess in the now-closed celebrity restaurant Ago when she was spotted by Miramax Italy producer Fabrizio Lombardo who told her she looked like actress Monica Bellucci.
Lombardo then introduced her to Weinstein at a 2001 Miramax Oscar party whom she described as a ‘gentleman’ and ‘kind, courteous and full of information’.
Pekar, who had recently moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles, added their attention was ‘an honor for a girl who was fresh out of the boat’.
Months later she was at an audition, wearing a pair of red stilettoes, when Weinstein called, claiming to have another role for her.
She claimed the pair met up in a hotel room where he had a bottle of champagne waiting. She said she had been expecting to audition for a speaking role.
Pekar writes: ‘He laughed and said I didn’t need to read for this role. I only needed to take off my shirt.
‘He said he needed to see my breasts, and he assured me that getting naked gets an actress noticed.
‘I decided to trust him. I grew up a ballerina and model. Getting naked in front of other people came with the territory.’
She describes taking off her blouse and bra before Weinstein asked her to remove her skirt as well.
She said: ‘I knew he needed to see if my thighs were fat. He asked me to turn around. I complied, in my thong and stiletto red heels.
‘He confirmed I was beautiful but needed to lose 10 pounds.
‘I was about to ask if I could get dressed but before I could, he disrobed.’
She claims he then forced her onto her knees, attempting to make her perform oral sex on him before ‘yanking me up by my hair’ and ‘trying to pull me onto his lap like a deviant santa’. She adds she explicitly told him ‘no’,
Years later Pekar says she bumped into Weinstein again At Cannes film festival when she was with her producing partner.
She claims he requested to meet them both again, with Pekar agreeing to the interaction because she was too ashamed to tell her partner about the previous incident.
Representatives for Weinstein, pictured in court in 2021, said he is willing to take polygraph to disprove Pekar’s allegation
When they arrived she said Weinstein was in a robe and immediately ‘stuck his tongue down’ her friend’s throat prompting them to leave right away.
Pekar wrote: ‘I was frozen, appalled and ashamed. Now, my silence had affected someone else.’
Weinstein’s spokesman Juda Engelmayer told Dailymail.com: ‘Harvey obviously knows Fabrizio Lombardo and many of the details of the places, events, films and people mentioned are well known to him and by now, many others too.
‘He believes that this sequence of events did not happen as suggested here and that the accusation just isn’t true.
‘The fact is that this narrative is so similar to others it is therefore easy enough to suggest to some that it is a valid recollection, yet it is also possibly being conveniently repurposed for other reasons.
‘Harvey said he did not do this and is willing to take a polygraph to prove it.’