The Harvey Weinstein casting couch offered room for three.
Aspiring actress Dawn Dunning, testifying Wednesday for the prosecution in the Oscar winner’s sexual abuse trial, told the jury how the hulking movie maker insisted that joining him for a ménage à trois was the best way to kickstart her career — and even cited actresses Salma Hayek and Charlize Theron as stars who swapped sexual favors for good roles.
“He kind of just cut to the chase and said, ‘Here’s contracts for my next three films. I’ll sign them today if you have a threesome with me and my assistant,'” Dunning recounted of her creepy encounter with Weinstein in the spring of 2004. “I mean, when he said that, I laughed. I thought he was kidding. He kind of has a crass (sense of) humor.”
Dunning recalled how she became more and more unnerved after realizing Weinstein was serious, with the producer warning this was her best opportunity to launch a successful acting career.
“He said, ‘You’ll never make it in this business. This is how the industry works,’” recalled Dunning about the bizarre encounter inside the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan. “And at that point, I was scared. I didn’t know what he was going to do. I literally ran down the hall to the elevator … He was screaming.”
The would-be actress jumped into the first cab that stopped and went home, leaving Weinstein behind in only a white hotel bathrobe. Weinstein’s assistant, who was mentioned as the other member of the threesome, was sitting in the room with a “blank” look on her face, according to Dunning.
Dunning recounted how she was working as a cocktail waitress when she first met Weinstein, hoping he could provide her with a break into the business.
Weinstein’s assistant called Dunning in the spring of 2004, asking her to swing by a boutique hotel where a movie shoot was going on outside. She was led inside by Weinstein, who brought Dunning up to his suite with a bedroom located off the section used as an office.
“I was talking with Harvey and he kind of led me into the other room and I sat next to him on the bed,” she recounted. “I was wearing a skirt that day, and he put his hand up the skirt.”
Dunning, on the verge of tears, testified that she was vaginally penetrated by Weinstein during the unwanted encounter.