- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 7, 2017

A former Fox News anchor has joined the list of women accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment in the wake of a bombshell report published this week alleging decades of disturbing predatory behavior.

Lauren Sivan said that Mr. Weinstein trapped her in the hallway of a New York City restaurant during a private event and then masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated, The Huffington Post reported Friday.

The incident happened about a decade ago while Ms. Sivan was employed as a news anchor for a local cable channel, Long Island 12, HuffPost reported. She became an overnight anchor at Fox News in Sept. 2008 and has worked for a local Los Angeles affiliate since 2011, according to her biography on the station’s website.

Ms. Sivan had been attending Socialista, a Manhattan club owned by Mr. Weinstein, when the movie producer invited her to take a private tour of its downstairs restaurant, she alleged. Mr. Weinstein tried unsuccessfully to kiss her once the two were alone, then exposed himself and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated into a plotted plant, she said.

Ms. Sivan recalled the alleged encounter after The New York Times published a bombshell report Thursday revealing that Mr. Weinstein, the head of The Weinstein Company and Miramax film studios, reached at least eight settlements with women dating back nearly three decades in response to similar previously unpublicized allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct, including several leading actresses.

“For those asking why I waited? YOU try telling that story 10yrs ago. Only possible now because of women with bigger names far braver than me,” Ms. Sivan tweeted Saturday.

“[L]uckily I didn’t need a job or favor from him + didn’t have to be polite. Others did. Keep that in mind,” she said in a previous tweet.

Mr. Weinstein was not available to be interviewed for the Huffington Post’s report, his attorney told the new site. He told The Times earlier this week that he “caused a lot of pain” and planned to take a leave of absence to “deal with this issue head on.”

The Weinstein Company announced earlier Friday that Mr. Weinstein is on leave indefinitely pending the results of an independent probe.

“The investigating lawyers will be reporting to a special committee of the board composed exclusively of independent directors,” said a statement signed by his brother, Bob Weinstein, and three other board members.

“It is essential to our Company’s culture that all women who work for it or have any dealings with it or any of our executives are treated with respect and have no experience of harassment or discrimination,” the statement said.

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