This woman falsely accused me of harassment for rejecting her advances

On November 12, 2015, a Russian journalist named, Anna Pavlova a/k/a Helen Greentree, sent me an email claiming that she knew me and wanted me to sponsor her for HFPA membership. I told her that “I couldn’t do it because I didn’t know her”. But she persisted. I prevaricated for some time. Eventually, just after Christmas day, I agreed to meet her at a public place, a cafe, to look at her clippings. In the meantime, I received warnings from several HFPA members that she had been stalking them. When she arrived, I asked her to drop the clippings at my home office because I didn’t want to be seen in public with her.

When she came to my home office, I was unpacking gifs boxes and cleaning (it was boxing day). We had a brief 10-minute conversation, during which I spoke some Russian and explained that I had learned it from a former Russian girlfriend while at Medical School 20 years earlier. 

Four months later, she contacted me again, offering me a business opportunity. I politely declined the offer, hoping that she would leave me alone. But she didn’t.   Seven years later, The Wrap contacted me with questions about her. I had no recollection of who she was, yet she claimed that I had given her the impression that I was interested in her romantically, and she was so traumatized by that impression that had given up on journalism. Her story is stranger than fiction, but that didn’t stop Sharon Waxman of The Wrap from describing my behavior towards her as sexual harassment.

After making her statement to the Wrap, she vanished. She refused to even speak to investigators, claiming that she was busy worried for Ukraine. Hang on, didn’t she say she was Russian? Go figure.

As for the Wrap, they still stand by their reporting, insisting that I sexually harassed Ms. Pavlova/Greentree. Judge for yourself:

From the Wrap

In 2015, Russian journalist Anna Pavlova-Greentree was eager to apply for membership into the HFPA after gaining MPAA accreditation in 2010 and years of TV and print interviews for overseas outlets. At the time, new applicants were required to find sponsors from among current HFPA members. She had emailed 40 different members, some of whom she had met at screenings or junkets around Los Angeles, about how she could apply. One of the few responses she received was from Asi, who told her in an email from 2015 that if he were to sponsor her, he needed to know her first for at least a year.

One year later in November 2016, Greentree and Asi finally agreed to meet, with her suggesting that they could go for a hike. When she arrived at his building, she said Asi asked her to come upstairs to his apartment and later offered her wine.

When she said she was busy and would be leaving, she remembered that Asi suggested watching a movie. “At the end, we were sitting on his couch. I didn’t feel comfortable,” she told TheWrap. “I didn’t want to be in his house. I just wanted to go for a walk.”

Instead of discussing the HFPA and the admission process, she said Asi instead discussed an ex-girlfriend he said was also Russian. Greentree recalled him talking about being single, that he didn’t have time for a family but that he would like a girlfriend — and she came away with the impression that he would agree to sponsor her if she would date him, something she had no interest in doing.

Asi did not comment in more detail on this encounter.

Ultimately, Greentree decided to leave Los Angeles and put her dreams of being a journalist behind her. “I went through serious depression,” she said. “It’s very emotional for me. “I realized the biggest achievement in the U.S. – the HFPA – is just crap. Everything I was dreaming about – it’s just trash.”

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