Lily Allen’s producer mother experienced disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s “sleazeball” nature when she watched a screening of Meg Ryan’s film In The Cut with him.
Alison Owen, who has worked with Weinstein on five movies, makes it clear she was never one of his victims, but she got a taste of what he could be like at his worst back in 2003.
“I had a couple of experiences where he proved himself to be a bit of a sleazeball,” Owen told BBC Radio 4. “That was no surprise – that was his reputation in the industry.
“When we sat down to watch (In The Cut) it was soon apparent why he wanted to see it. Meg Ryan has a rock-solid ‘no nudity’ clause in her movies and had never taken her clothes off until this film.
“Harvey immediately started talking to the projectionist, asking him to move it on to get to the bit where she gets her t**s out… His breath was getting shorter and shorter, he was ranting more and more and I wondered what was going on back there. It crossed my mind that he was masturbating.
“I wasn’t myself abused. If he was doing it, it was to Meg Ryan’s breasts. It made me feel certainly that he couldn’t care less what I thought about him.”
As a result of her dealings with Weinstein, the British producer made sure she always protected young women on his film sets, adding, “I always operated a policy of protecting women, particularly young women, around Harvey. I would never let anyone have a meeting with him on their own.
“Harvey is one of the old-style film moguls. When he was good he was very, very good and when he is bad he is horrid. He can be fun and gregarious and generous. He can also be a bully.”