In a widening scandal over alleged sexual misdeeds in Hollywood’s entertainment industry, Dustin Hoffman has now become the latest famous name to have been accused of sexual harassment.
Anna Graham Hunter, a writer, has alleged that the actor had groped her on the set of 1985 TV movie “Death of a Salesman” and spoke inappropriately about sex with her, reports The Guardian.
Hunter said she was a 17-year-old intern at the time. “He asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did. He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me,” she wrote in the Hollywood Reporter.
“One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, ‘I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris.’ His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried.”
Hunter in her guest column also detailed Hoffman’s alleged shocking treatment of her over her five weeks on set in a diary that she mailed to her sister at the time.
“Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my ass four times,” she wrote. “I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man.”
She claimed that on set, she was told to put up with Hoffman’s behaviour by a supervisor who told her to “sacrifice” some of her values for the sake of the production, reports The Guardian.
“At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere,” she further wrote. “He was a predator, I was a child, and this was sexual harassment. As to how it fits into my own pattern, I imagine I’ll be figuring that out for years to come.”
Hoffman, now 80, has responded to the article with an apology, said The Guardian report. “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”
The “Tootsie” star’s reputation has often been troubling. On the set of “Kramer vs Kramer”, he had slapped actress Meryl Streep to improve her performance in a dramatic scene while also taunting her about the death of her boyfriend, reports The Guardian.
However, Hoffman’s story has come after a flood of similar stories of sexual harassment or misconduct within Hollywood against a number of heavyweights including producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.
More than 50 women have made sexual harassment or assault claims against Weinstein, and Spacey has been accused of making sexual advances to a then 14-year-old Anthony Rapp in 1986.
On Wednesday, six women, including actors Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn, also made similar accusations against director Brett Ratner.