Ever since bombshell reporting in late 2017 led to him being charged with rape and other criminal sexual acts, Harvey Weinstein has become a pariah. Not that it has stopped him from trying to slip back into his old lifestyle, whether by dining at Cipriani or petitioning to travel abroad for "work." But not everyone is just rolling with it: Weinstein was confronted by three women on Wednesday night when he showed up at an event at a Lower East Side bar.
Weinstein was at the Downtime Bar on the Lower East Side for an event called Actors Hour, which describes itself as the "first speakeasy dedicated to artists. Only writers, directors, actors, musicians, and a few lucky outsiders have the privilege of gaining entry." Zoe Stuckless was stunned when they saw Weinstein there, "surrounded by a cadre of young women and two bodyguards. He wasn’t hiding. He came to watch young artists be vulnerable on stage."
They wrote on Facebook that one comic who went on—later identified as Kelly Bachman—called out "the elephant in the room," but when the performer alluded to Weinstein's presence in the room, "the event organizers, the bartenders, and a number of others booed her into silence."
Bachman says at the start, “There’s an elephant in the room...It’s more of a Freddy Krueger, actually. I didn’t realize I needed to bring my own mace and rape whistle to Actors Hour.” She gets a smattering of boos in response—Stuckless told Vulture the boos came from the event organizers. You can see video of all that below.
"I was sitting there, and the more that I sat there waiting for the event organizers to kick him out, or for another performer to call him out, or for the audience to revolt, the more I found myself paralyzed by the silence," Stuckless wrote. "He was sitting there, allowed to laugh and clap and drink and flirt and no one was saying anything. The more I sat there the more furious I was at all of our inaction." You can see them confront him in the video below.
After this, Stuckless says she was kicked out of the bar, and Weinstein's bodyguards "herded me out. The event organizers were happy to see me go."
Amber Rollo was also in attendance at the event; she wrote on Twitter today that she saw Stuckless yell at him, and was enraged at how many people in the room seemed okay with him being there. "Let me explain that one more time, an event that was supposed to support actors and artists invited a serial rapist who has ruined at least 87 actors lives and supported that monster over an actor in the room. They supported HIM over all the actors in the room," she wrote.
She also decided to confront him: "Then I went in and called him a fucking monster and told him he should disappear. His friend/body guard/goon/family member called me a cunt and I really really wanted to lunge over the table and strangle him," she said. "I restrained myself, now that I'm sober I no longer throw drinks or fists. There was a woman at the table with him who gently guided me out. I don't know who she is but I hope she is ok."
On Instagram this afternoon, Actors Hour released a statement claiming that Weinstein "was NOT invited by the organizer or anyone associated with the organization." They apologized for his presence there: "We believe the people who spoke out were brave and justified and we fully encourage freedom of speech. We apologize wholeheartedly for the way the situation was handled." [Editor's Note: Actors Hour has since deleted this statement.]
However, in her tweets, Rollo specifically called out Alexandra Laliberte, who runs Actors Hour, for inviting Harvey Weinstein. Another person, Kaitlyn Hamby, wrote that the Actors Hours' statement was "contradicted by multiple attendees that have been assured that he was personally invited by the organizer and had a table reserved especially for him at last night show AND the previous show. They did not address why he was allowed to stay at the VIP table/at the event, or why they kicked out the woman who asked for the serial predator to be removed."
Weinstein's spokesperson said in a statement to TMZ, "Harvey Weinstein was out with friends enjoying the music and trying to find some solace in his life that has been turned upside down. This scene was uncalled for, downright rude and an example of how due process today is being squashed by the public, trying to take it away in the courtroom too."
We've reached out to both women who confronted Weinstein, the Actors Hour organizers, and Downtime Bar for more information about what happened, and will update if we hear back.
Update 5 p.m.: Rollo told Gothamist that she believes Weinstein had been specifically invited to the event: "Harvey was at a reserved table and the event was at a secret location, so the idea of them not knowing he was coming seems a bit unbelievable to me."
"I'm appalled that they let him into an event meant to support artists and actors when he has ruined so many actors lives," she added. "I keep hearing that cancel culture is out of hand but when predators are still accepted and welcomed into these spaces that are supposed to be safe it is clear that we have not gone far enough. I'm done being polite in these situations. As a rape survivor, I want predators to feel at least as uncomfortable in my presence as I am in theirs."