Actress and filmmaker Anna Wilding claimed she warned the Obamas about Harvey Weinstein’s reputation before a White House visit in a bombshell interview with Studio 10.
New Zealand-born Wilding was on Studio 10 to promote her new photography exhibition of Michelle and Barack Obama’s last years in office.
But the interview took an unexpected turn when Angela Bishop asked what she had thought while photographing Weinstein’s visit to the White House with the First Lady.
“That was a very, very tough moment, my entire body was screaming. I’m not sure if Australian viewers are aware but shortly after the New York Times article I came forward and told my story of Harvey Weinstein,” Wilding said.
“When he came to the White House with Michelle Obama for a Broadway tribute event my body was screaming inside, and I wanted to shake Michelle and go, ‘No, no, no don’t do this.’”
Explaining to the stunned panel how she considered herself one of the “lucky” ones, Wilding alleged she had once been alone in an elevator with Weinstein in Cannes.
“Two male colleagues injected and said, ‘No Harvey, not this one.’ And I had heard of Harvey’s reputation and I knew it, but it never occurred to me that this man was basically capable of molesting me as soon as I got into his office meeting room,” she said.
Wilding claimed that as a result of her not going in the elevator she “didn’t work with Miramax as an actor” as “it was pretty clear that to work with Miramax you had to sleep with Harvey”.
Because of her alleged near miss with Weinstein, Wilding claimed she made multiple attempts to warn the Obamas of his reputation after learning he would be visiting the White House.
“I spoke to her First Lady press office both in the East Wing, and I spoke to President Barack Obama’s office in the West Wing,” she said.
“And I don’t know why those messages didn’t get to them directly, but I was very surprised and disheartened that Harvey Weinstein was there. I thought it was hypocritical of the First Lady at the time, I guess she didn’t know what everyone else knew.
“I was very concerned (when their daughter) Malia started interning at Miramax, at the Weinstein Company, I did everything I could at the time.”
Before his fall from grace, Weinstein had been untouchable and held immense power in Hollywood.
“If you wanted to win an Oscar, Harvey could win one for you, he knew how to buy the Academy — the Academy will be upset for me saying that but that’s the fact, he knew how to manipulate things,” Wilding claimed.
Weinstein’s career imploded in late 2017 when multiple women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, allegations which he has denied.
Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Romola Garai, Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Lupita Nyong’o, Salma Hayek and Lena Headey are just some of the actresses who had accused Weinstein of acting improperly towards them.
The disgraced producer is now facing criminal sexual assault charges as well as numerous legal actions from multiple women.
Before his downfall Weinstein was a key supporter of the Obamas, raising more than .89 million for the Democrats at fundraisers between 2011 and 2013, the Evening Standard reported.
But the couple were among the first to condemn Weinstein when allegations against him surfaced, saying in a statement they were “disgusted” by the reports.