Dustin Hoffman accused of sexual harassment against 17-year-old
Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges the actor groped her on the set of 1985 TV movie
US actor Dustin Hoffman responded to the article with an apology: “I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.” Photograph: Andrea Comas/Reuters
Dustin Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment against a 17-year-old intern in 1985.
Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges that the actor, now 80, groped her on the set of TV movie Death of a Salesman and spoke inappropriately about sex with her.
“He asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did,” Hunter wrote in the Hollywood Reporter. “He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me. 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 detailed Hoffman’s alleged 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 claims that on set, she was told to put up with his behaviour by a supervisor who told her to “sacrifice” some of her values for the sake of the production.
“At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere,” she wrote, looking back. “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 has responded to the article with an apology: “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 slapped Meryl Streep to improve her performance in a dramatic scene while also taunting her about the death of her boyfriend. “I was getting divorced, I’d been partying with drugs and it depleted me in every way,” Hoffman said of his behaviour at the time.
The story comes after a deluge of similar stories of sexual harassment within Hollywood against producer Harvey Weinstein, film-maker James Toback and actor Kevin Spacey. Today has also seen six women accuse director Brett Ratner of sexual harassment, including actors Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn.