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Why I Waited So Long to Share My Harvey Weinstein Saga (Guest Blog)

”I went to use the bathroom before we left and when I came out, he was standing there, fully naked,“ actress recalls of her 1996 encounter

I met Harvey Weinstein one winter evening in 1996 outside of the Miramax offices in TriBeCa. I was in my late 20s, a working actress, though not famous. A journeyman, so to speak. I was there to do a reading of a friend’s screenplay, and he introduced himself. He was charming, intelligent and knowledgeable in the industry that I loved. We started a friendship. It was not intimate. It was casual and social. He invited me to a screening of a Miramax film and introduced me to his colleagues, asked my opinion of the film. I remember being invited to a party at a restaurant as well.

Harvey was a powerful and respected film producer. He made me feel as though he was really listening to me, and that my ideas were interesting to him. It’s flattering to have someone of that stature seemingly value you. In retrospect, I would say it throws you off. At that point, I trusted him.

That same winter, Harvey set up a meeting in his offices with a talent manager. He decided that she should represent me. I wasn’t particularly comfortable with the idea for many reasons. One, it seemed a little far-fetched. She represented a fair number of famous people. What would she want with me? My agent at the time did not like the idea either. She didn’t think that I needed a manager and she wasn’t too fond of Harvey and his friendships with young actresses.

It was a bit of a disaster. I remember the manager, whose name I can’t recall, expressed to me that she was summoned by Harvey and was not there of her own accord. I looked at her and said, “Well, I don’t want to be here either.”  I’ve heard that she told that story over the years as an amusement. I tended to agree.

One evening, that same winter, he invited me out to dinner. He came to pick me up at my apartment. I went to use the bathroom before we left and when I came out, he was standing there, fully naked, his clothes in a pile on the floor. I was shocked and, frankly, pissed off.

My apartment was a large loft space and I walked over to the other end of it, as far away from him as I could get and said, “Put your clothes back on, Harvey.” I remember being very stern in my delivery. He stood there for a short while, no more than a minute or two, and said something quietly, almost to himself. I couldn’t hear what it was. Then he put his clothes back on and left. It felt out of the blue and unnerving and I could feel that flight or fight adrenaline rush kick in, but that was it.

The next time I saw Harvey was when I ran into him at the bar of the Hotel du Caps in Cannes, France, in May of that same year. I was at the Cannes Film Festival promoting a film that I was in. He was very friendly and welcoming. He invited me to the Cinema Against AIDS benefit. This was a big event, hosted that year by Elizabeth Taylor and tied into the premiere of a Miramax film. I accepted the invitation and went to the event.

Did I feel, in accepting the invitation, that I was colluding with him, keeping his secrets? Maybe just smoothing things over. Hollywood is a town where business and socializing are inextricably linked. I guess I was making nice.

So why have I never told my story until now? The story of my social acquaintance with Harvey Weinstein, how he came to pick me up at my apartment for dinner some 20 years ago and undressed while I was in the bathroom. The story of how I was shocked, angered and unnerved. How I asked him to put his clothes back on, which he did (thank God) and then left.

To be honest, I have never consciously kept this encounter a secret. I’ve told the story to a number of friends and colleagues over the years. However, there have been many times when I have thought of my experience with Harvey, and other experiences, and held my tongue. Why?

Until recently, navigating the waters of men in positions of power in Hollywood was a tricky business. You would do your best to avoid situations in which you had to defend your integrity at the risk of affecting your career or future. And if you found yourself in such a “situation,” you certainly didn’t want to make waves after the fact — again risking potential damage to your career or future.

I heard stories about Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, Louis C.K., Jeremy Piven, James Toback and others over the years. That was the part of the culture of Hollywood. There were no repercussions for the behavior of these men that I knew of. You just had to fend for yourself.

And telling my story was complicated in other ways too. Why did I consider Harvey a friend? Why was he in my apartment? Didn’t I know he was interested in me sexually? What will people think of me, personally and professionally? As Rachel Weisz put it, “People find out I’m an actress and I see that ‘whore’ look flicker across their face.”

Again, and still, you are really just trying to hold onto your personal integrity.

And all the while, these men are committing criminal acts and silencing their victims through coercion, legal settlements and the threat of ruining their lives and reputations.

Which I didn’t know.

This is how it worked, how it has always worked in Hollywood.

More recently, I had to decide if I wanted to tell my story and forever have my name associated with Harvey Weinstein. Whatever that meant, it was forever. I decided it was way more important to speak out and join the chorus in support of the promise that all women have a voice and are protected.

What I couldn’t have envisioned in telling my story is not that my name will now forever be associated with Harvey’s. Instead, I’m linked to the most amazing and powerful army of women, the women who are finally able to speak out.

They are the story now, aren’t they? They are the change that is happening. They are making history. I want to know what they are thinking and doing. I want to follow them on social media and in the news. They emboldened me with their bravery and I am honored to be among them.

I am certain that we will be reading about their strength, their courage, and their many accomplishments for years to come.

Caitlin Dulany is an actress who has appeared on numerous television shows. Her credits include "Criminal Minds," "Castle" and "Mistresses," as well as recurring roles on "ER" and "Saving Grace." On the big screen, she can be seen in the Todd Phillips-produced "Project X," Spike Lee's "Oldboy" Akiva Goldsman's "Winter's Tale," among others. She is also a passionate environmental advocate who works with the nonprofit group, TreePeople, in Los Angeles.