Another Hollywood celebrity is being accused of sexual harassment. Actor Dustin Hoffman has been described as a “predator” by a writer who claims the star made sustained, unwanted sexual advances on her in 1985, when she was only 17 years serving as an intern on the set of TV movie Death of a Salesman.
Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Anna Graham Hunter said Hoffman asked her to give him a foot massage during her first day on the set. She said she obliged. She also wrote: “He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me.”
The writer also shared her experience on the day she went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order. She wrote: “He looked at me and grinned,taking his time. Then he said, ’I’ll have a hard-boiled egg… and a soft-boiled clitoris.”
What made the offense worse, adds the writer, was the fact that Hoffman’s entourage laughed. She said she was rendered speechless, she left to go to the bathroom where she cried.
Hunter then documented in a diary all other abuses of Hoffman. She said one entry read: “Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my ass four times. I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man.”
Hunter said she told other people in the production about the abuses, but a supervisor merely told her to “sacrifice” some of her values for the sake of the project they were completing.
The then intern also told the actor to his face that he was a pig. An office assistant told her what she did could have gotten her fired had any of the film’s producers heard her term for the actor.
Now, at 49, Hunter shares her reflections about what happened, and what she thinks of Hoffman. She wrote: “At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere.” She minced no words as she said: “He was a predator. I was a child, and this was sexual harassment.”
She said she will have to figure out in the years to come what she went through would mean to her life.
Hoffman reacted by way of a statement where he issued a general apology, even as he insisted what the writer pictured him to be is not who he is. It read in part: “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.
Dustin Hoffman is just the latest in the spate of revelations of Hollywood celebrities being accused of sexual harassment they either did in the past, or along a pattern that includes more recent transgressions. The accusation against Hoffman came just days after sexual harassment allegations were also hurled at fellow actor Kevin Spacey. Before Spacey, influential film producer Harvey Weinstein were accused of several sexual harassment cases by different women weeks ago.
The revelations against Weinstein is being seen as a catalyst for other victims of sexual harassment to come forward and share their stories of experiencing sexual abuses from their powerful predators.