Former teen actress alleges Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her
Heather Kerr says she was 18 and an aspiring actress when Weinstein exposed himself to her
Heather Kerr, an 18-year-old aspiring actress in 1979, told reporters today that she was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein.
Kerr added her voice to a growing list of present and former entertainment industry workers who have come forward with similar stories of harassment and sexual assault by the movie mogul.
Kerr, then a television and stage actress, said Weinstein ruined her career ambition after he exposed himself to her during a meeting in 1979.
Speaking at a Friday news conference with attorney Gloria Allred, Kerr said that she been working in the office of an entertainment business manager, where she answered the phones. Weinstein was a frequent caller and at one point he suggested they meet at an office in Westwood. Kerr's boss advised her to go ahead.
After she arrived, Weinstein told her to sit on the couch, and he sat close to her in the deserted office.
"He said if he was going to introduce me around town he needed to know if I was 'good,'" Kerr said. He kept asking and she "offered to provide him with a reel."
"Because he was sitting so close on this couch I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach. The next thing I knew he unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis," she said.
Then Weinstein grabbed her hand and forced it onto his penis, she said, leaving her frozen with fear.
'How things worked in Hollywood'
"He kept telling her this was how things worked in Hollywood, this was how actresses made it, she said. She would have sex with him, then he would take her to parties and introduce her to directors and other men who could assist her career and then she would sleep with them, she recalled.
Kerr says she "pulled her hand away as casually as possible," backed away from him, left the room after she "thanked him for his time" and hurried out of the building.
After some theatre work, she quit acting. "I felt so powerless," she tearfully recalled. "I didn't think anyone would believe me."
Kerr's acting credits include the TV shows The Facts of Life and Mama's Family.
Weinstein is facing criminal inquiries in three cities after allegations of rape and sexual assault.
The Los Angeles lawyer for an Italian actress who has accused Weinstein of rape says the alleged attack has had a "humongous impact on her life" and she is extremely scared.
Attorney David M. Ring told reporters Friday that his client met Weinstein briefly at the L.A. Italia film festival in 2013 and he bullied his way into her hotel room.
Ring said that she gave Los Angeles police detectives a description of sexual assault and rape.
The attorney said the actress has had no interaction with Weinstein since then.
Weinstein's representative has denied the Oscar-winner had non-consensual sex with any woman.
Police have confirmed they are investigating the accusation but have not released any further details.
Ring said the woman is "extremely scared" and wants her identity protected.
'Women won't take it anymore'
Allred, Kerr's attorney, said Weinstein is "not the exception" in the entertainment industry and sexual harassment was widespread.
She said "numerous" other women from the industry had contacted her, but she declined to provide a number.
However, when it comes to sexual harassment, she said, "the balance of power has shifted in Hollywood," and "women won't take it anymore."
With files from CBC News