This story dates back 37 years, and we’re sure it wasn’t the first time this lowlife pulled this stunt. Yet thanks to being a big-spending liberal Democrat, nobody ever did a damn thing about this monster.
Long before Harvey Weinstein became one of the most powerful people in Hollywood – and now one of the most reviled, following reports that he sexually harassed and sexually assaulted several actresses – a Buffalo woman says she was the target of his unwanted advances.
Paula Wachowiak, now 62, is a grandmother of three and an employment specialist who works with people with disabilities.
Reading the accounts in the New York Times and the New Yorker of Weinstein’s alleged actions, about luring actresses into his hotel room and asking for a massage, Wachowiak was struck by how similar those descriptions were with what she says happened to her in 1980 when she was working as a production assistant on Weinstein’s first movie, “The Burning.”
“My husband was like, ‘Why don’t you call somebody and tell someone the story?’ ” Wachowiak said.
She said she had told the story many times before but never before to a reporter. Wachowiak gave this account in an email and in follow-up phone interviews of what she experienced:
Wachowiak was 24 and had recently gone back to school at the University at Buffalo to study communications. She was recently divorced and a single mother.
At the time, Weinstein was famous in Buffalo as part of the concert promoting duo Harvey & Corky. He and Horace “Corky” Burger brought A-list rock-n-roll acts – the Rolling Stones, the Police, U2, Phil Collins and Lionel Ritchie – to Buffalo. They staged concerts at the Century Theater on Main Street in downtown Buffalo and a nightclub in Clarence they named Stage One.
Wachowiak enjoyed going to the club on Main Street and Transit Road back then, she recalled.
“At any given night, we would go to the bar and Greg Allman and Cher would show up,” she said. “ZZ Top. Anybody playing in town and they would be playing for Harvey Corky. … For Buffalo, that was pretty freaking amazing,” she said.
She didn’t know Weinstein or Burger but knew who they were.
“They were the big shots in town,” she said.
Once in a while, Weinstein would be spotted at the bar and people would excitedly point him out.
Wachowiak needed an internship for the summer.
“I got the bright idea to try to get an internship with Harvey & Corky over that summer for credit,” Wachowiak in an email.
She said she reached out to Weinstein several times before she said he brought up a project he was working on: a slasher movie set in a summer camp. The movie was going to be filmed in the Buffalo area that summer and she could intern for that.
The production supervisor assigned Wachowiak to be a production assistant working with an accountant.
Wachowiak, who grew up in Lovejoy, remembered feeling awestruck.
“I was hyper-impressed with all this glamour and excitement with cast and crew from exotic places like New York City and Los Angeles,” she wrote in the email. “I felt like a country rube fresh off the turnip truck. I wanted to fit in and not appear to be as naive as I was.”
The production crew set up at a hotel in North Tonawanda. Wachowiak’s job mostly involved working with an auditor.
“They used to give me these large checks to go cash at the bank,” she said.
One day, the auditor asked her to take a bunch of checks in a manila folder to Weinstein’s hotel room to get them signed.
“When I got to Weinstein’s room he let me in but he was behind the door when it opened,” Wachowiak wrote. “When I got into the room I realized that he was holding a hand towel around his waist.”
She could tell Weinstein was naked underneath the small towel that was barely covering him, Wachowiak said in both the email and the interview.
Nervous about appearing unsophisticated, Wachowiak tried to keep her cool. She told herself: “Relax, these are movie people, they think nothing of walking around naked. Just keep your eyes on his face and don’t look down. And for God sake don’t let on that you want to run out of the room screaming.”
Wachowiak said Weinstein took the folder and dropped the towel. He was naked. She said she kept her eyes on his face, in the email.
“He sat on the bed with the folder over his groin and pointed to checks and asked me why we were paying for this or that. There was one check for break-a-way glass that was very expensive and I had to explain how difficult it was to transport,” she recounted.
Then Weinstein began complaining about having a kink in his shoulder and asked for a massage, Wachowiak said.
She later crossed paths again with this creep:
She was by herself waiting for instructions when she said Weinstein drove up in a car. Wachowiak said she was scared as Weinstein approached her.
He asked her, “So, was seeing me naked the highlight of your internship?” she said.
Wachowiak said she had another comeback for him: “Actually, Harvey, you disgust me.”
He wasn’t disgusting enough for Democrats until the past week. Rapists enjoy a home in that party.