Actress Heather Kerr says Harvey Weinstein made her touch his genitals

Another former actress claims Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her, saying the disgraced Hollywood producer exposed himself to her and told her she had to sleep with him and other producers and directors in order to succeed in the industry.

Heather Kerr, 56, said Weinstein told her that was "how Hollywood works" when she met him alone at an office to discuss how he could help her acting career

"I arrived and a person who appeared to be a secretary was leaving. She gave me a look like, 'I hope you're ready for this'... It was unsettling," Kerr said.

Weinstein sat close to her on a couch, she said, and kept asking her if she was "good". She offered to provide him with a reel of her acting work.

"He had this sly, sleazy smile on his face ... I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach," she recalled. "The next thing I knew he had unzipped his fly and pulled out his penis ... He then grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him and forced my hand onto his penis and held it there. I was frozen with fear, trying to remain calm."

Weinstein then "spelt it out" for her, Kerr recounted. "He told me that this was how things worked in Hollywood and that all of the actresses that had made it, had made it this way."

She fled the room as quickly and as gracefully as possible; three days later, she quit her job with an entertainment business manager and gave up pursuing an acting career.

"I have told parts of this story to only a very few people over the years," Kerr said.

"I felt so powerless because he is very powerful and very well-known ... and very successful. I didn't think anyone would believe me. I was nobody. Why would they believe me?"

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who is representing Kerr and who says she's been contacted by "numerous" women since last week, said she had no doubt that many women in Hollywood had been "forced to degrade themselves" to get ahead, or, like Kerr, give up their dreams.

"Well, no more. That may be the way it was. It is not the way it will be in the future, because, Harvey, you and others like you are done," Allred said, reading from a statement.

"The balance of power has shifted in Hollywood. There have been and will continue to be serious career, financial and potentially criminal consequences for men who sexually harass women."

Allred already represents former screenwriter and actress Louisette Geiss, who appeared with her at a press conference last week to allege that Weinstein masturbated in front of her in a bathtub without her consent in 2008. The experience led her to leave the industry, and she now works in real estate, she told reporters.


Lawyer David Ring, who specializes in representing women in sex-abuse cases, met with a mob of reporters on Friday but declined to disclose much about his client, a 38-year-old Italian woman whose accusation that Weinstein raped her in 2013 is now being investigated by Los Angeles police.

"What happened to her was really horrible, it had a huge impact on her life and in a sense she is relieved to come forward now to share what happened with the LAPD, but she is also extremely scared," Ring said at press conference he called after being bombarded with more than 200 media requests when news of the case broke on Thursday.

Ring's client says that Weinstein "bullied his way into her hotel room" near Beverly Hills and raped her in the bathroom in February 2013 after she met him briefly at an Italian film festival in Los Angeles.

"Her greatest regret is opening that door," Ring said.

She never reported this to the police, because she was afraid and because she was not a resident of the US. She was coming forward now, in part, inspired by the other accusers of Weinstein, he said, "but there were other factors as well."

Ring's client's accusation is significant because the alleged crime would fall within California's 10-year statute of limitations in effect at the time, and possibly could lead to a prosecution.

"This is what they would describe as 'within statute', so if they determine that a crime occurred, then a person can be charged with a crime," Ring said.

"My role is to co-operate with the LAPD to make sure this lady is treated properly. The number one priority is the criminal investigation in this case."

Weinstein denies any allegations of non-consensual contact with women. He has said little publicly since the scandal broke two weeks ago.


Photo: MEL MELCON/LA TIME (Caption: Lawyer Gloria Allred, left, comforts Heather Kerr at Friday's press conference)