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Harvey Weinstein's former assistant recounts working for movie mogul as allegations mount

Weinstein's former assistant speaks
Harvey Weinstein's former assistant speaks out 04:03

A former member of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's inner circle is speaking out after nearly 30 women have come forward to say they were abused or harassed by Weinstein. He was one of Weinstein's personal assistants in the 2000s.

The former assistant, who did not want to be identified and asked us to alter his voice, told CBS News' Bianna Golodryga he feels he and others who worked for Weinstein were victims as well.

Here is the full transcript of their conversation:

Editor's Note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and to protect the subject's anonymity.

Bianna Golodryga: You were his assistant, correct?

Former Weinstein assistant: Yes.

Golodryga: How many assistants did he have?

Former Weinstein assistant:  It fluctuates between four and three usually.

Golodryga: So what did you know about him when you applied for this job?

Former Weinstein assistant:  I knew he was a dynamic personality, let's say. A huge icon in the industry that I wanted to work in. But also a tremendous, let's say, bully.

Golodryga: But with regard to his relationships towards women and how he treated women, were you aware of any of that?

Former Weinstein assistant: Not at all.

Golodryga: So you worked for him, and your aspirations ultimately were to do what?

Former Weinstein assistant: To be a producer in the film industry.

Golodryga: And can you describe how he treated you?

Former Weinstein assistant: In varying degrees -- like, dirt. And then he could turn around and praise you and you, you know, treat you like gold, and put you on a pedestal and then turn around and tear you down the next minute.

Golodryga: And the first time that happened with you, with regards to how he treated you, what was your initial reaction?

Former Weinstein assistant: Fear. But at the same time, I think I had, I was 23, 24 at the time. You're in a job. And you're working for a very powerful man. So you put your head down and you do your job and you keep going and then especially when he turns around and gives you a bonus, says, here, take a thousand dollars, you know, you realize it's all part of whatever crazy job you've gotten yourself into.

Golodryga: So what did you take that bonus to be? Was that sort of an apology ... It wasn't making up for how he was treating you?

Former Weinstein assistant: I guess part of it might have been because guilty conscience, but, you know, we took it as - you just worked your ass off for a week or so on a trip, and job well done.

Golodryga: With all of these women coming out now, and speaking out about how he treated them, and the assaults that he committed on them, the question is, how did no one know? And if somebody knew, why didn't they act on it?

Former Weinstein assistant: It was completely separate and kept apart very meticulously by him from anybody's purview. And anybody's ability to ask what was going on. We knew, and I think when people talk about "the worst kept secret in Hollywood," they're not talking about the fact that he was allegedly raping people. I think what they're talking about is that he was a womanizer. And it was no secret that he had scores of women all across the globe that he would have meetings with. And those meetings were just him. I was never part of those meetings. I don't know any colleagues or executives that were in the room, ever, for those meetings. I never witnessed him or saw him doing anything salacious or untoward to a female colleague, as has been reported. Maybe it's youthful naiveté, being 23, 24 at the time. But, you know, I think if you were to ask anybody -- yeah, we all knew that he was a philanderer, cheating on his, his wife. Which was something that we all felt terrible about. But was sadly part of the job.

Golodryga: So you thought it was consensual?

Former Weinstein assistant: Yes. Everybody did.

Golodryga: So everyone thought that his philandering and his promiscuity, I guess, outside of the marriage was agreed upon, that it was consensual from the female's perspective, too?

Former Weinstein assistant: It's how it was - it's how it appeared.

Golodryga: Did he ever talk about it? Was he open about ...

Former Weinstein assistant: Never.

Golodryga: ...philandering or women? You never heard him talk about women?

Former Weinstein assistant: I mean, we knew he would talk about, he would talk about women, as you know, "look at that beautiful girl," and obviously it was a huge part of his life - balancing and juggling and coordinating meetings with women. But it's not something that he would sit around and talk to us about, like, hey, you should have seen what happened when you left the room, what went on behind the door.

Golodryga: Were you witness to these meetings in hotel rooms and at his apartment?

Former Weinstein assistant: Never at his apartment. That surprised me. To see that in the news. Because I'd never seen him take anybody too close to his own personal life like that. But yes, in terms of meetings at hotel rooms, that was part of the daily grind.

Golodryga: So you would be in the room with him, and I guess a lot of the ...

Former Weinstein assistant: We would be, we would be in the room with him, doing normal business, having meetings with filmmakers and actors, and writers and directors and other producers, and executives. And then we would be told at 2 o'clock so-and-so was coming to the room. Make yourself scarce. And we wouldn't even be there, we would be gone. And then he would call us an hour or two later, and say, "OK, come back up." And that was it.

Golodryga: And when you would come back up, would he be fully clothed again?

Former Weinstein assistant: Yes.

Golodryga: So when we're hearing these stories, you know, there's a pattern with a lot of them. Where somebody would be in the hotel room, a lot of times a female assistant, and these women would come in and they would feel a little bit awkward but then when they would see a woman, they would be a little bit more at ease, and then the woman would leave. Or maybe the male assistant, too.

Former Weinstein assistant: Yeah, I was never--I was never that person. I was never that, I saw somebody say in the Ronan Farrow article, I was never that like "honeypot." To make them feel comfortable.

Golodryga: So when you ultimately left, there wasn't any inclination in your mind that he was taking advantage or sexually assaulting women?

Former Weinstein assistant: No.

Golodryga: And so what was your ...

Former Weinstein assistant: I never, I never walked into a situation that I felt like somebody had just been victimized in a room that I was walking into. Or, you know, I never saw somebody fighting with him or running away in tears. It just, it never, it never got, never in my experience did I see that happening. Hearing [the] NYPD recording was mind-blowing, to hear that voice that you grew so accustomed to talking to for so long in a business capacity to be doing that was really hard. It was really hard to hear.

Golodryga: And how do you feel now, not only hearing that audio but reading all of these countless, you know, exchanges that women have had with him and reports of women coming forward now? How does that make you feel -- knowing that you were so close to him?

Former Weinstein assistant: Sick. Angry. Disgusted. You know, victimized in our own right, in a different way, obviously, not sexual, but, you know, the fact that he would use his employees as his tools. it seems almost like the company was structured from the top to bottom to service whatever it was he was doing. But, you know, it is…I'm very, very proud and happy that these women are coming forward now. I think, you know, it's about time…if this is. Sorry, it's been really, it's been very hard for a lot of us. 

Golodryga: I can imagine...

Former Weinstein assistant: Because it's sickening.

Golodryga: When you left, from, subsequently, after you left, you also hadn't heard any of these stories or accusations or allegations or rumors?

Former Weinstein assistant: No, not until all of this started really coming out.

Golodryga: So when the, when the actress whose audio we've now recently heard, when she filed that complaint in 2015, I believe, did that ...

Former Weinstein assistant: Yeah.

Golodryga: ...set any alarm bells off for you, did you start talking to former colleagues?

Former Weinstein assistant:  When that happened, it was OK -- he got caught.

Golodryga: And he got caught for doing what, having an affair? Or ...

Former Weinstein assistant: I think we all thought, it was just, you know, he got caught having an affair, something went too far, but we had no idea.

Golodryga: So now when all these stories are coming out about how could it have been such a well-kept secret, how did people not know, you make the case that you didn't know, and others didn't know, about the sexual assault angle, that the worst kept secret only had to do with the philandering?

Former Weinstein assistant: That's, you know - I really don't want to say anything, that I mean, honestly -- it is ... I'm trying to answer the question for you in the best way. He kept it very, very separate. It was after-hours a lot of the time. It was something that he arranged and organized himself and he made sure that nobody was around. And then he did not talk about it.

Golodryga: So in your mind, so as far as you're concerned, is there no honeypot, then? Is that part of the story wrong?

Former Weinstein assistant: No, I'm just saying I was not part of that.

Golodryga: So you still leave open the possibility that there was some level of complicity?

Former Weinstein assistant: I'm not disputing that, but I was not part of that.

Golodryga: From what you now know, is there another shoe to drop, is there more to come?

Former Weinstein assistant: I think we're all expecting it, but I have no clue.

Golodryga: And I was told by somebody in the industry that there are people who were even worse than him. Have you heard similar --

Former Weinstein assistant: Sure, I think everybody's heard rumors, but none that I've ever encountered.

Golodryga: And if you had a message to all of these women, what would your message be to them now?

Former Weinstein assistant: On behalf of everybody that ever had the opportunity to be employed by him and his company, we apologize to you. And thank you for coming forward. And stopping it so that it never happens again.

Golodryga: And last question, did you ever wonder what he was doing during those hours? I mean, it seems like it happened in the morning, in the afternoon, and you know he didn't have an M.O. when it came to specific ...

Former Weinstein assistant: No, it could happen anytime, but he kept it very separate. Yeah, we all wondered what went on behind those doors but it was just you know, it was speculation. Nobody had specifics.

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