The man who slapped Harvey Weinstein claimed that the disgraced producer was "extremely rude" and "belligerent" leading up to the attack, but newly uncovered audio of their encounter tells a whole different story.
The audio, like the original video of the slap, was published by TMZ. In it, the assailant -- identified only as Steve -- can be heard approaching Weinstein's table to ask for a photo. Weinstein, who was having dinner with his sobriety coach, declined rather politely, while Steve pretends to be Weinstein's biggest fan.
"I don't mean to bother you, but I just love your work... I would love to have a photo with you," Steve says in the audio clip.
"Oh, I wouldn't, no," Weinstein mumbles, not impolitely. "Those days are over, my friend. I no longer seek that life, it's not for me anymore.
"I just had to ask," Steve says placatingly, adding "I really appreciate your work." Weinstein even asks Steve what he does for a living, trying to steer the conversation away, but the personal trainer cannot be dissuaded. "I just -- I love your movies, I love your work, but I know..."
"It's a different time for me now," Weinstein cuts in.
"Yeah," Steve says. "Thank you so much, enjoy your dinner." As Steve and his friend, Joe -- presumably the cameraman -- walk away, Weinstein is still calling pleasantries after them.
This encounter stands in stark contrast to the one Steve originally recorded and provided to TMZ. In the video, Steve can be seen landing two backhanded slaps on Weinstein's face, as his sobriety coach attempts to stop Joe from recording. Steve unleashed a wave of profanity on Weinstein, driving him out of the restaurant.0comments
Steve told reporters he'd had a lot to drink that night when he sent them the video, but TMZ hasn't said how they obtained this new illuminating audio.
Weinstein declined to press charges against Steve and Joe.