Melissa Thompson is the heroic cancer survivor who is the latest to come forward and accuse Harvey Weinstein of a vicious assault. Thompson, 34, says that in September 2011 she was pitching an idea to Weinstein regarding a video service that could be used in the entertainment industry. Thompson alleges as soon as the meeting with Weinstein began, he began to harass her.
The assault was all captured on her company’s software because the camera was rolling during the meeting, Thompson says. The lawsuit alleges that Weinstein put his hand under Thompson’s dress and said, “It’s fun when you do this.” Despite trying to ignore his actions out of fear and the hope that he would stop. Weinstein scheduled another meeting with Thompson at the Tribeca Grand Hotel later that day but Weinstein scheduled the meeting to take place inside of his hotel room.
Inside the room, Thompson says Weinstein went to the bathroom only to return naked from the waist down. When Thompson says she refused to perform oral sex on him, he pushed her on to the bed and masturbated beside her. Weinstein then acted like nothing happened when he was finished, the lawsuit says. Thompson’s felt “dirty and ashamed”afterward, she says.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Thompson Says the First Attorney She Reached Out to Was Covertly Working for Weinstein
According to her lawsuit, Thompson, on the strength of Ronan Farrow’s investigative reporting into Weinstein, decided to come forward with her story. A friend told her to get in contact with Benjamin Brafman in order to take legal action against Weinstein. Eventually, Thompson made contact with a lawyer named Alex Spiro. Spiro told Thompson that he worked for Brafman, the suit says. Later, Thompson discovered that Spiro was actually working for Weinstein. She says that she had divulged her entire story to Spiro, including the fact that the alleged assault was on camera.
Thompson is joined in her lawsuit by two other women, Caitlin Dulany and Larissa Gomes. On May 24, Thompson was tagged in a tweet by lawyer Elizabeth Fegen announcing that Harvey Weinstein had handed himself into the NYPD to face charges of sexual assault.
You can read the full lawsuit here:
2. Thompson Was Diagnosed With Cancer 5 Weeks After Giving Birth to Her Daughter
In January 2018, Thompson was named as one of Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40.” At the time of her award, Thompson told the Stamford Advocate that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer just five weeks after she gave birth to her daughter, Poppy. Doctor’s told her that she would have to freeze her eggs before engaging in chemotherapy, to preserve her fertility in the event that she wanted to have more children.
After initially being told that her insurance would cover the procedure, halfway through the process, insurance pulled their offer because she was suffering from cancer and not infertility. Thompson was awarded a place on the “40 Under 40” list because of her activism which led to the changing of the law in Connecticut which meant that infertility treatment had to include those suffering from cancer. The law is named Melissa’s Law for Fertility Preservation.
3. Thompson Is Attempting to Get ‘Melissa’s Law’ Passed in 13 States in 2018
Thompson told Connecticut Magazine that she is planning to get her law passed in 13 states in 2018. “Melissa’s Law” has already been passed in Rhode Island. Thanks to the power of the insurance lobby in Connecticut, Thompson’s “40 Under 40” article reads, “In Connecticut, the heart of the insurance industry, the legislation represents quite a victory.”
4. Thompson Has Presented Her Technology to President Barack Obama & Bill Gates
According to Thompson’s official website, her technology platform, TalkSession, which was designed to allow healthcare providers to constantly stay in contact with mental health patients, was referred by Bill Gates as a “game-changer.” Gates wrote glowingly about Thompson’s invention in Wired Magazine in December 2013.
Earlier that year, Thompson demonstrated TalkSession to President Obama. Her presentation was live streamed on WhiteHouse.gov. For her work, Thompson was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year and Innovator of the Year at the 2013 International Women in Business Awards.
Thompson is a graduate of Columbia Business School where she attained an MBA, in addition, Thompson has a BA in Economics and Chinese from Barnard College. Thompson also studied at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. Her website bio says that she resides in Connecticut with her daughter.
5. Her Ex-Husband Worked for Rudy Giuliani at Time of Their Wedding
According to her New York Times wedding announcement, at the age of 22, Thompson married Oliver Libby at the Rainbow Room in New York City in October 2005. The announcement says that Libby, a native of Boston, was working for Giuliani Partners, the consultancy company set up by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. A separate online bio says that Libby was the Deputy Director of Energy Policy for the Giuliani for President Campaign in 2007-2008. Libby’s grandfather as Dr. Baruj Benacerraf, the Nobel Prize winner for Physiology or Medicine in 1980 for his work into the immune system.