7 Women — Including A Former Harvey Weinstein Employee — Share 'Me, Too' Stories To Prove It Isn't Just Hollywood

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It happens more than you think.

With A-list celebrities calling out Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein for sexual harassment and the flood of women on your Facebook feed copy and pasting "Me Too" as a way of speaking out about their own sexual assault, it seems this once silent issue isn't silent anymore. 

While the weight of this horrifying epidemic may have seemed far away from your own social circles until now, it's important to understand that this is happening. And it's happening a lot. 

According to a recent study, about 1 in 3 women between the ages of 18 and 24 have been sexually harassed at work, and 81 percent of women have been verbally sexually harassed. Sadly, but not surprisingly, at least 16 percent of women said they had experienced sexist remarks, like being called a slut, but didn't realize that was sexual harassment.

And every scarier, every 98 seconds someone in our country is sexually assaulted.

RELATED: Is Harvey Weinstein A Sex Addict? Or Is He Using Sex Addiction Rehab As A 'Get Out Of Jail Free' Card?

As 'Me, too' stories flood social media and websites, sharing heartbreaking tales of sexual abuse and harassment women have endured in the workplace and beyond, YourTango spoke with a former employee of Harvey Weinstein's to get a deeper look into what the women who weren't in front of the camera might have endured.

She wished to remain anonymous but said she worked for Weinstein's Company for not even a year before she quit due to a culture of fear she experienced that was always present in the office. 

"Everything revolved around not making Harvey upset," she said. "He's tipped off so easily, and you don't want to be the object of his anger because he berates people on a personal level. Everyone was so reactionary. Everything was centered around making sure he didn't explode." 

The former employee recalled a time where one of his other employees was terrified to tell him that she was pregnant.

And when she told Harvey while on a call, it was clear why. 

"He said 'How dare you?' I see what you're trying to do here. Sit on someone's d--k and get pregnant and take all my money. Well the joke's on you because I'm not giving you maternity leave.'" 

RELATED: 8 Of The Most Alarming Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Details And Allegations

Though she didn't experience or witness any sexual harassment or abuse herself, she said she was told to "keep her head down" whenever Weinstein was in the room. 

"They told me, "You don't want Harvey to know your name,'" she said. "His poor assistants would come crying to me with a bunch of stories. It was hard to see them cope with all the things they had to do and to watch them try to justify. They were really young, and they're good people. They just didn't know any better." 

Sadly, Harvey Weinstein isn't the only man who's used his power to take advantage of women, and Hollywood isn't the only industry that looks the other way when they do. 

We found six other women willing to share their own stories of sexual harassment and assault in an effort to prove that this, unfortunately, happens everywhere. 

Some stories are short, others are long. None of them are okay. 

1. Megan, waitress. 

"I was 13 years old, my first job ever, as a busser in a restaurant. One of the cooks said he 'could jerk off to me into the gravy. Would I like that? No one but know but us.'

I'm 30 now, and I still get nauseous thinking about it."

2. Cassie, waitress. 

"When I was 18, I was working my first job at a BBQ restaurant. Two of the men there, one a cook and the other a dishwasher, constantly harassed me. The cook was about 30 and felt that it was okay that he made remarks every day about my body, what he'd 'do' if he could have me, slapped my butt whenever he got a chance and put his fingers through the belt loops on my jeans, that kind of thing--no matter how often I asked him to stop.

His harassment didn't end until he quit to go to another job.

The dishwasher, on the other hand, didn't take no for an answer EVER. J.C. seemed like a nice guy on the outside, but always made comments about me and made disturbing grunting noises sometimes when I would walk by, or made little remarks under his breath.

He always insisted on hugging me even though it was clear that I didn't want to, and sometimes blocked my path until I did. He would occasional drag some of the other cooks into his sexual dialogue as well and even suggested that they 'tag team' me. Even the cooks seemed to get a bit disturbed by his suggestions, but only one man, Luis, would ever say, 'C'mon, man, that's inappropriate.'

He would routinely ask me to wear my makeup a certain style or put my hair up 'the way he liked it.' I laughed it off because I was nervous and I didn't know any better, but it didn't take long for me to go out of my way to avoid him if I could.

It got to the point where I was uncomfortable being alone with J.C. at all. One time, he cornered me in our dry pantry, and another time he cornered me in the walk-in freezer, rubbing his pelvis against my bottom when I was bent over and he thrusted himself against me several times before I could stand. When I tried to leave, he grabbed my wrist, blocked the door, and told me that he wouldn't let me go unless I 'smiled for him.'

He actually held my wrist so hard I got bruises. 

I was 18, 5'5", and at the time weighed about 150 lbs. J.C. was 49, 6'5", and 300+ lbs. I made my concerns known to the manager and told him that J.C. was making me uncomfortable with his advances. I asked him to step in and handle it. He assured me that J.C. wouldn't be a problem and that he would 'have a talk with him.'

Only, my manager hated confronting people and never got around to it, and instead decided that keeping an eye on him was just as good as telling him to quit attacking me. 

Fast forward to a few weeks after the walk-in incident, and I was standing in the office talking to the manager when J.C. came inside. The room was tiny and really only fit two people comfortably, so I tried to leave. J.C. grabbed my wrist again, pulled me to him, and wrapped his arms around me in a bear hug, pinning my arms to my sides.

He made crude statements and continued grinding himself against me, and I desperately begged my manager to get him off of me. I started to panic and actually started crying, but my manager continued sitting there, without saying a word as he watched. I started yelling for someone else to come and help me, but there was no one in earshot.

When I realized that J.C. was erect, I started screaming at the manager to do something and stomped on J.C.'s foot as hard as I could multiple times before the manager had to get up and physically pull his arms off of me so I could run out of the room. That whole incident lasted for about 3-5 minutes. I left early without explanation. 

The next day, my manager told me that J.C. had been moved to another location. And he suggested that I not "lead any other men on," because J.C. was 'a good guy' and clearly thought that I wouldn't have a problem with him acting that way. He also told me he 'couldn't afford to lose another one of the cooks because of something like that happening again.'"

3. Alex, sales associate/hospital worker/school teacher.

"I have experienced sexual harassment in nearly every job and institution that I have had for the last 30 years. My first sexual harassment experience in the workplace began when I was 18 years old working in the shoe department of a well-known national chain store.

Women were required to wear skirts with nylons. The male employees would make comments when I had to climb the ladder to get to the boxes on the top shelf. Sometimes the males would offer my phone number to male shoppers in order to get an increase in their shoe sales.

When the manager on duty licked my neck after hours while we had to restock the shoes while we were alone, I had already been dwindled down to nothing in my self-esteem. I had no idea how to report the situation, and so I just quit. But I learned that it didn't matter where a woman goes, there are men who will sexually harass her.

When I worked in a hospital setting, there were male employees who made advances in the elevators, many of these abusers were doctors with authority. When I worked in public schools, there were assistant principals who decided to cross the line and use their power of authority to intimate me as a young teacher.

I wasn't the only female who felt weird around certain individuals in these workplace settings. There's almost a type of brotherhood among males who are the mindset to take advantage, and as a woman when you really need the job, do you really want to be the one who risks losing it by filing a report.

Sure, they might get reprimanded, but you will suffer for the rest of your work career because you blew the whistle."

4. Sarah, waitress. 

"I worked for a small, local breakfast restaurant for one summer after I graduated college. The place was known for only hiring (young, good-looking) girls as servers. I was only put on the schedule one day a week, but the manager would always text me asking if I could pick up this and that day instead of just putting it on the schedule, to begin with. 

One day while texting me, he got flirty and asked me out. I figured if I said no, I'd be out of a job or stuck with just one day on the schedule plus the awkward atmosphere at work.

We went out once, and during the dinner, he told me that when he offered me the job, he didn't need any more servers but was so 'intrigued' by me that he had to hire me. The following workdays he'd put his arm around me, throw out innuendos in front of customers and coworkers, etc.

It was super uncomfortable, and I turned down all following advances and luckily got another job in a totally different industry that allowed me to quit the place. Unfortunately, a lot of other women don't have that opportunity."

5. Samantha, retail. 

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"When I worked retail, I had an experience. I was in the break room and I stood up when a co-worker who had been flirting with me walked in (his girlfriend was also my supervisor).

He picked me up from behind and dry humped me as I begged for him to put me down. He saw nothing wrong with it and walked out laughing.

His harassment continued until I told a male co-worker who became furious and did something. But I felt helpless."

6. Michelle, hostess. 

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"When I was 17 I worked at a 'fancy' but cruddy chain restaurant that's part of one of the biggest chains in the nation. We had a grown boss on his second wife, 38 and handsome. I was 17 and he would always flirt with the young hostesses and waitresses.

One time I said, 'Hey I was hoping I could get the weekend off' and he said, 'Hey I was hoping I could get a blowjob' and just stood there looking at his crotch. I laughed it off, it seemed super gross but also very NORMAL because I was 17.

I thought, 'This is how all men are, I guess.' Fortunately I didn't do it (though I wouldn't blame someone who did do it, in a more desperate situation), I just tried to laugh it off, but I also didn't think much of it until later on that year when I went to college and learned about sexual harassment and saw him for who he was: A married father of two, a boss of a 60 people, probably, including at least 8 or 10 teen girls in high school, who was literally asking an employee to perform oral sex in order to get a work request filled. 

The most shocking part of it, probably, was how NOT shocking it was at the time. How normalized that type of behavior is to girls in our society."

RELATED: 10 Details About Harvey Weinstein's Wife Georgina Chapman And Their 'Sexless' Marriage


Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz). 

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