by Bronte Coy
HARVEY Weinstein sobbed and pleaded, "I'm not that guy. I'm not that guy," to an assistant after the first bombshell article on the movie mogul's sexual harassment allegations came out, according to a new report.
But his employees were the ones weeping when a second huge story came out days later - containing rape accusations and audio of Weinstein admitting to groping a model - as they realised they may have unwittingly enabled the predatory producer, the New Yorker reports.
"People were having a wave of retroactive memories," an unnamed staffer tells the magazine. "Some of the stories were within the time frame of people who still worked there."
In fact, he was glad it had come out on a weekday instead of a weekend, believing fewer people would read it, the assistant on the receiving end of Weinstein's pleas told the magazine.
The assistant resigned that day, and Weinstein even offered him a reference - not realising how toxic he would become.
The staffers say they had no idea they were working for a "sexual predator" and are now struggling with the public opinion that they acted as "honey pots" for their boss to lure in unsuspecting victims.
"At the time, you didn't know this was happening. What you knew was that he was a bully, a screamer, a yeller, a thrower, a pig - not that he was a rapist," one female worker told the New Yorker.
Still, at least one admits she may have missed signs, saying she once applied to be a producer at the company, but was warned against it by several other staffers.
"Do not take this job," one former assistant had told her. "You will see things you will never be able to unsee, and you will do things you will never forgive yourself for."
She now says feels "like an idiot."
"There were things you knew. Clearly there was also a strategy on his part. He could be flamboyant in his 'People can know I'm a womaniser.' But the idea that he took it to sexual assault or even rape was really well hidden."
The unnamed staffers also released a lengthy statement to the New Yorker, asking that the Weinstein Company let its workers out of their nondisclosure agreements immediately - "so we may speak openly, and get to the origins of what happened here, and how."
This story originally appeared in the NY Post and is republished here with permission.