SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Miss Caitanya Tan was a newly minted graduate just starting out on a career as an actress, and the 23-year-old was excited at the prospect of attending the fifth Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong in 2011.
She attended the awards ceremony with friends and took it all in, going wide-eyed over the actors and actresses and soaking in the atmosphere as the fans raised decibel levels outside the venue, cheering their favourites on.
She also had a surreal encounter with Harvey Weinstein.
The big-name film producer and co-founder of The Weinstein Company, which recently sacked him, has been dominating the headlines recently after a number of actresses, led by Ashley Judd and including A-listers like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, exposed him for being a sexual predator.
Various reports have emerged of how he lured actresses to his hotel room where he asked for massages, or even masturbated in front of them. Some actresses have also alleged that the Hollywood bigwig raped them, including Asia Argento.
Miss Tan - who has found fame after starring in the Mediacorp television drama Tanglin - told The New Paper yesterday that she met Weinstein, a keynote speaker at the event, on the red carpet.
The 30-year-old said: "When we saw this limousine pull up and he stepped out, my friend said he was an American superstar producer who made so many big Hollywood movies."
Her group went to take photos with Weinstein, who graciously obliged. Once done, they went their separate ways, but Miss Tan recounted how Weinstein then doubled back and catching her eye, asked: "Hey, are you an actress?"
Miss Tan, who at the time had a leading role in a stage production at Hong Kong Disneyland, acknowledged that she was.
She was excited at any prospect of working with a big-time Hollywood producer, but that did not last.
"Then he asked me: 'I have a couple of scripts with me, would you like to come to my room to read them?' I thought that was really creepy," she recalled.
Miss Tan declined.
She said: "As he walked away, he asked me, 'Do you know who I am? Do you know I can make you very famous?'
"I was shocked and stood my ground."
Miss Tan and her friends then parted ways with Weinstein and his entourage, and she didn't think much of it until the recent bombshell allegations about his untoward behaviour.
In light of the mounting allegations and increasing number of women speaking out against him, Miss Tan decided to share her own experience on social media and also talk about it on The Pride, a website associated with the Singapore Kindness Movement.
"I'm not a victim because nothing happened, but the reason I shared it is because I think it's important to report and speak out about it," she said.
"Everyone's experience is important and I'm more vocal than I've ever been about sexism.
"That kind of behaviour is simply unacceptable."