A Jewish-American journalist says she was sexually assaulted by a prominent Israeli journalist while she was interviewing him in the lobby of a U.S. hotel.
The writer, Danielle Berrin, published a column last week for The Jewish Journal titled “My sexual assault, and yours: Every woman’s story.”
“I’d agreed to meet him, an accomplished journalist from Israel, at his hotel around 10 P.M. He was in the United States only for 48 hours, and told me he was completely booked during the daytime. I believed him,” Berrin wrote, without giving the journalist’s name.
“Back then, the book he’d written was among several titles having an impact on the Jewish conversation, and many local community leaders wanted to meet with him.”
Berrin described how the journalist asked her personal questions including whether the man he saw her with at an event was her boyfriend.
“But after I answered one of his questions in a way that moved him, he lurched at me like a barnyard animal, grabbing the back of my head, pulling me toward him.
I turned my face to the left and bowed my head to avoid his mouth.”
Berrin then described how she felt unsafe even though she was in a lobby full of people.
“I have traveled the world alone without fear, yet this, not far from home, was one of a few moments in my life that I’ve felt both threatened and powerless,” she wrote, adding: “All I could think was: ‘Get away from me, get away from me, get away from me.’ I also thought: ‘Don’t insult him. Don’t embarrass him. He’s important.’
“In the end, I guess, I consider myself ‘lucky.’ Very, very ‘lucky.’ Because although I was groped and grabbed and pulled sexually assaulted I was not raped or otherwise harmed. Many women do not emerge from such situations still whole. Nevertheless, none of this feels like a gift.”