‘HE WAS A FRICKING PIG’: A-list stars ‘assaulted’ presenter
MICHELE Mahone is a former Today Show presenter, gossip reporter and make-up artist based in Los Angeles.
Starting her on-air role as an entertainment reporter for The Weekend Today Show on the Nine Network with Leila McKinnon and Cameron Williams, she became a household name for her Kentucky accent and catchphrase "How Do!"
In 2014, Mahone was hired as an entertainment reporter for Network TEN's defunct morning show Wake Up with Natarsha Belling and James Mathison, where she conducted various red carpet interviews and celebrity segments.
Currently working as a radio presenter, a comedian and full-time mum, Mahone has spent more than 15 years working both in front of the camera and behind the scenes in Australia and Los Angeles.
Speaking exclusively to news.com.au, Mahone has opened up about being sexually assaulted while working as a freelance make-up artist by one of Hollywood's biggest actors - Patrick Swayze.
"I was working as a make-up artist, which I'd been doing for 10 years. I was working with Disney and would do make-up when actors came in to do voiceovers for cartoons or for 'Behind the Scenes' interviews with the stars for that were put on to DVD.
I worked with Disney for years as one of their make-up artists, and would work on actors three to five times a month.
Patrick Swayze came in for an interview, and the whole time all he did was talk about how fantastic his wife was.
At the end of his interview, I asked him if he wanted his make-up removed.
I went back to the room, and put my left hand up to lift his fringe off his face, while I removed his makeup with my right hand.
He grabbed my waist and pulled me in and started kissing me. I was completely shocked. He wouldn't let go. His hand moved behind my head, and it was a really forceful kiss.
"I pushed his shoulder off me. It was like a drunk in the bar grabbing you out of nowhere.
He said 'Oh, this doesn't mean we can't work together', and I didn't know what to say.
I was shaken. I was trembling. It was like an uncle grabbing you and kissing you. I was appalled, because he just said how much he loved his wife. I felt violated. My mouth hurt. I was in absolute shock.
I slowly packed up my kit hoping that by the time I was done, he'd have left the studio.
But when I left, he was still in the lobby. Producers and everyone were still there.
He said: 'Well give me a hug goodbye, Michele', and I had to hug him. What else could I do? When he left, I pulled the producer (who was a woman) aside. I told her how he kissed me, and she asked if it had happened before. I said no, but they never hired me again.
I called two or three weeks later, then again a month and two months later and I never heard from them again.
"They knew this was a problem, it could've potentially caused a lawsuit and in the end it was easier to not hire me again.
"Ask anyone and they'd say he (Swayze) had the most rock solid marriage in Hollywood. It was nauseating. He was on a pedestal. He was Mr Clean. Everyone saw him as one of the good guys, but he was a fricking pig. But who would've believed me?"
For Michele, this wasn't an isolated incident.
"After the Today Show days, I got a call and I went to someone's house - whose name I will never reveal - who had seen my work on YouTube, thought I was funny and wanted to work with me.
"They said they had a part which they wanted me to be in. So I went to his house.
"He offered me a drink, and I said: 'No, I don't drink', and joked that if I had a drink, it would be a very different interview and laughed it off.
"Instead of sitting across from me he sat next to me on the couch. I remember how I inched my way over until I hit the arm of the chair, before he put his hand up my shirt. I just slapped him. He then grabbed my arm, and it was a full on fight.
"I was there maybe 20 minutes, but it was 20 minutes too long.
"I grabbed my purse and said if you don't open your gate I will drive straight through it. I drove out of his driveway, pulled over and bawled my eyes out.
"I'd just lost one job - with the Today Show - and was hoping to get another. It was crushing.
"Until today, I've never said a word of this to anybody because I thought there was no point. I know people would believe me, but I'd feel the impact more.
"And that's what's happening with Harvey Weinstein. Since he's ruined and can't put anyone in a movie or help a career, people have come out and told the world what he's really like.
"Angelina Jolie is a massive star, and is only just now saying something. She said in her younger days she worked with him and had a bad experience and would never work with him again, but is only saying something now.
"Everybody knew about him, but no one said anything because they want to work.
"You do not speak out. You don't say anything. Because the person that brings in the most money wins. Period."