Lauren Sivan spoke to Megyn Kelly on Kelly's eponymous 'Today' show hour on Monday.
Megyn Kelly landed the first TV interview with TV reporter Lauren Sivan, who, just a few days ago, alleged that Harvey Weinstein masturbated in front of her after trying to kiss her.
Sivan, who joined Kelly in her Megyn Kelly Today studio for an interview during the NBC News host's 9 a.m. hour of the morning show on Monday, told her story about meeting and being accosted by Weinstein, including how she felt as it was happening and looking back on the incident.
She revealed that it was Weinstein's bizarre statement to the New York Times after that outlet broke the news Thursday of decades of alleged sexual harassment that was the "final straw."
Sivan said she thought, "Enough is enough," adding that she was irritated that Weinstein's bizarre statement didn't include any "remorse" or "acknowledgement of this type of behavior."
She added that she "can't imagine how many women this has happened to," and believes all of the women who've come forward to allege harassment by Weinstein. She explained that the casualness of Weinstein's behavior with her, she felt, gave her the impression she was not the only one.
Looking back on the incident, Sivan said she saw some red flags when Weinstein took her downstairs for what he said would be a tour of the kitchen and they got down there and just saw two men sweeping. She said Weinstein shooed them away and they walked to a hallway where he cornered her and tried to kiss her. She rebuffed him and he blocked the exit and told her to just stand there and be quiet.
That's when, she says, he exposed himself and began pleasuring himself. Sivan said she was "shocked" and "stood there dumbfounded."
"I could not believe what I was witnessing," Sivan added. "It was disgusting and kind of pathetic...He finished and I said, 'Can I go now?' And he said, 'Yes let's go, let's both go.'"
Kelly asked if she felt like she could have escaped and she said looking back she feels like she could have pushed past him if she felt her life was in danger but at the time she was so shocked and it all happened relatively quickly.
After a commercial break, Kelly asked Sivan why she didn't come forward with her experience right away.
"At the time I had this great job. I was living with my boyfriend in the city. I had this great life. I didn't know what going public would do to me," Sivan said.
She added that she didn't think she would have to see or interact with Weinstein again and felt a feeling of "shame" and wondered if she had done something to make that happen.
She also recalled how Weinstein called her the next day at her TV station—her "heart sank," she said—and how Weinstein said what a great time he had and that they should do it again, which produced an audible groan from the audience. Sivan quickly rebuffed him, repeating that she has a very serious boyfriend and didn't want to see him again and hung up the phone, she said.
While Sivan was not in a workplace environment with Weinstein, Kelly brought out two employment experts to talk about why women are reluctant to speak out or go to human resources when they experience sexual harassment at the workplace.
That discussion had a bit of a meta element as Kelly herself admitted last year that she was sexually harassed by then Fox News CEO Roger Ailes during their time at the cable news outlet. While Kelly didn't acknowledge her own experience as a victim of harassment, she did say that she "find[s] it very irritating when you get the 'why didn't you go to HR?'" Kelly adopted a man's voice as she said the "why didn't you go to HR?" part and that was a criticism of her own claims of harassment, specifically by her former colleague Bill O'Reilly.
Kelly and the employment experts said that while accusers are barred from retaliating, in reality, people in the company can do multiple, subtle things to retaliate against sexual harassment accusers.
Sivan said she's "positive that more women will come forward" and that she's "not alone."
"It takes people that work with him to come out and when you're God, people aren't going to do that," Sivan said of Weinstein. "He could ruin people's careers if he didn't like you."
Kelly and the workplace experts also briefly touched on the issue of non-disclosure agreements, where the former Fox News anchor said that she and her colleagues at that network saw women coming forward despite the NDAs.
"Fox News has problems but it's not the only place," Kelly said. She prefaced her interview by saying that she and Sivan used to work together and know each other socially and that Kelly and Weinstein know each other professionally and have been in contact from time to time. Kelly said her show reached out to Weinstein for a comment on Sivan's story, but he didn't respond.
The Weinstein Company's board of directors fired Weinstein on Sunday in light of new information about his misconduct.
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