Lauren Holly has been one of the most frequent guest-hosts on The Social since we started in 2013. She told us a few years ago at dinner one night about her Harvey Weinstein experience. As she said on The Social yesterday, her experience is not unlike so many others – hotel room, bathrobe, massage, only in her case, he also dropped a bonus in her presence. Into the toilet.
Over the last couple of weeks, you’ve read story after story from so many women harassed and abused by Harvey. They came forward at their own comfort level, on their chosen platform. For Lauren, as she explained on the show, she wanted to do it while surrounded by friends. The effect that has when you hear it in person, when you can see that even after almost 20 years, the trauma that Lauren is still carrying, it adds to the horrors of what her peers have also experienced.
Lauren was very clear about specific points she wanted to address. First that she was already in her 30s when it happened and experienced in Hollywood, that Harvey Weinstein’s victims weren’t just those who were new and innocent. That his predation – enforced by his power in the business – made vulnerable even those who’d had some experience in that world. Second, she wanted to explain that, for those who are criticising women for being so naïve about what happens in hotel rooms, hotels are where legitimate work happens often in Hollywood. As Duana and I discussed on the last episode of Show Your Work, people in Hollywood meet in hotel suites all time. For negotiations, for scripts, for junkets. In fact, most junkets happen at hotels. It is not unusual for an actor to be asked to have a meeting at a hotel. In a hotel room. Lauren said herself that she’d had probably 50 meetings in hotel suites prior to that meeting with Harvey Weinstein. Next, one of the things that continues to confuse her is how he was able to go about his business, while naked, and on the toilet, and in the shower. He kept talking – about what projects he was working on, about what deals he was making, about what scripts he was excited about. It was so ordinary for him that she began to wonder whether or not she was the one who was being weird about it. This is how standard it had become for Harvey Weinstein. This is how accustomed he was to doing whatever the f-ck he wanted.
Lauren was pretty emotional during her appearance. It’s understandable when you make yourself so vulnerable. But she was also nervous. Harvey Weinstein was very powerful for a very long time, for much longer than he’s been disgraced. And he never hesitated to show his power, often with devastating consequences. That kind of intimidation lasts a long time.