A video posted Wednesday by TMZ showed Harvey Weinstein getting slapped outside Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort, a hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Tuesday night. According to TMZ, Weinstein was dining at the resort's Elements restaurant when a man identified as Steve sat down at the table next to him. Steve reportedly asked for a photo with the disgraced Hollywood producer but Weinstein declined.
Later, when the two were both leaving the restaurant, Steve walked up to Weinstein and said, "you're such a piece of sh*t for what you did to these women," and slapped him twice in the face. In the video, which was reportedly filmed by a friend of Steve's, a spooked Weinstein can be seen stumbling backwards as another man attempts to block the camera with his hand.
After the slap, Steve's friend asked Weinstein if he'd like to press charges, but Weinstein declined; this aspect of the story was confirmed to TMZ both by Steve's friend and the manager of the restaurant. Steve later told TMZ that he'd had "quite a bit to drink" over the course of dinner.
Weinstein, formerly a widely-respected producer of independent films in the 1990s, was forced from his own company in October after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Weinstein has repeatedly denies those allegations.
Steve told TMZ that when he asked Weinstein for a photo, the movie mogul became belligerent and told him to go away. The restaurant manager, however, said that Weinstein was "very sweet" about declining the request, telling Steve that "I'd rather not take a picture right now."
Other than that, all parties appeared to be in agreement about the broad strokes of the story. In an email to the Arizona Republic, Weinstein representative Sallie Hofmeister said that TMZ's story was "accurate," and didn't comment further. Lt. Michael Cole of the Paradise Valley Police Department confirmed to the Republic that no police report had been filed regarding the incident.
After the avalanche of sexual misconduct accusations against her became public, Weinstein reportedly checked in to The Meadows, a luxury rehab center in Wickenberg, Arizona, to receive treatment for behavioral issues. According to TMZ, those issues included sex addiction, although it should be noted that many other people with sex addictions do not make make nonconsensual sexual advances, as Weinstein is alleged to have done.
Writing at AZ Central, opinion columnist E.J. Montini argued that the man who slapped Weinstein is "no hero," but in fact "a drunk publicity hound trying to piggyback on a pig."
"Weinstein deserves to be shamed," Montini wrote. "But in a way that is not shameful."
Many on Twitter, however, approved heartily of the Weinstein slap.
"Video surfaced of Harvey Weinstein getting slapped in the face and it's absolutely glorious," tweeted Bartstool Sports, a popular sports website.
"Seeing someone live your dream is hard," joked Vine and Instagram celebrity Sarah Schauer on Twitter.
"Nice," tweeted the activist group The Reagan Battalion while linking to the video.
In October, the New York Times reported that Weinstein had paid settlements to at least eight women who'd accused him of sexual harassment or unwanted physical contact. Dozens of additional women went public with accusations against Weinstein in the weeks that followed, including several A-list actresses. In many instances, they alleged that Weinstein directly or implicitly threatened their careers if they didn't comply with his requests, but the avalanche of accusations effectively ended Weinstein's own career as a Hollywood power player.
Less than two months after the first accusations against Weinstein were published, no fewer than 50 men with high-profile public careers were publicly accused of sexual harassment or assault, a phenomenon some people subsequently referred to as "the Weinstein effect."