Harvey Weinstein sent "desperate" note in last-ditch effort to save career

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CBS News has learned Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein made a last-ditch effort to save his career. He sent a letter asking several movie industry executives for support just hours before he was fired from his company. Weinstein wrote, "I am desperate for your help." The letter was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter's Janice Min and then confirmed by CBS News.

CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan sat down with a journalist who shared her encounter with Weinstein. Ten years ago, Lauren Sivan met Weinstein in mixed company at a dinner party, but when he offered her a private tour of his restaurant, she says she was "stunned" by the encounter.  

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"When he asked me if I wanted a tour of the restaurant or the kitchen -- no, there was no apprehension. Should there have been? Yes," Sivan said.

It was 2007, and Sivan said she got "a very friendly vibe" from Weinstein.

"I didn't get anything that read he was dangerous until we got downstairs," Sivan said. "He tried to kiss me. And I pushed him off, politely, and that's when he seemed to get angry or annoyed and told me to just stand there and be quiet."

Sivan said Weinstein had her cornered.

"He exposed himself and he basically pleasured himself.  And when he finished, I said to him, are we done here, can I leave? Because he had been blocking the exit," Sivan said. "I just wanted to leave and hopefully never see him again."

Several actors who were hired by Weinstein have spoken out against him, including Meryl Streep -- who told the Huffington Post "the behavior is inexcusable."

But Weinstein was defended by fashion icon Donna Karan.

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"It's not Harvey Weinstein, you look at everything all over the world today, you know, and how women are dressing you know, and what they're asking by just presenting themselves the way they do, what are they asking for? Trouble," Karan said on Sunday. 

Karan apologized Monday, saying "My statements were taken out of context and do not represent how I feel...I am truly sorry to anyone that I offended."

"I don't believe going to the police would have accomplished anything," Sivan said.

While Sivan says she's received overwhelming support, she said some have been critical of her for not speaking out sooner.

"I don't like that idea of blaming the victim. Blame him, you know. Blame the people that enabled him," she said.

George Clooney told the Daily Beast Weinstein's behavior is "indefensible." He said, "This is the moment to start scaring people like this into not acting this way anymore."

CBS News has repeatedly reached out to Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Company for comment, but has not heard back.