Sunday 23 September 2018

Woman accuses Steven Seagal of sexually assaulting her at audition

Faviola Dadis is the latest of several women to accuse the action star of sexual misconduct.

Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal

By Andrew Dalton

A woman has said Steven Seagal sexually assaulted her at a supposed casting session at a Beverly Hills room when she was a 17-year-old model and aspiring actress.

Faviola Dadis was emotional but composed as she spoke at a news conference in Los Angeles, becoming the latest of several women to accuse the action star of sexual misconduct.

Ms Dadis said Seagal reached under her bikini top, grabbed her nipples and then grabbed her genitals soon after the 2002 audition began. She said she promptly ended the audition and left deeply shaken.

“I have suffered from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, have found it difficult to form trusting relationships with men,” she said through tears as she read from a written statement.

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Faviola Dadis, left, reads from a statement at a news conference (Andrew Dalton/AP)

She recently filed a report with police, and Los Angeles prosecutors said her case is under review.

Ms Dadis, now a 33-year-old doctoral candidate in clinical neuroscience, said she had recently moved to the US from the Netherlands when a music producer introduced her to Seagal.

After several phone calls and text messages, he invited her to a hotel room in Beverly Hills for the late-night casting session for a film he planned to make about Genghis Khan, Ms Dadis said.

I left feeling horrified and totally violated Faviola Dadis

She took a family friend because her mother was suspicious, but the person stayed in the lobby and she ended up in a room with only Seagal and his personal security guard.

Seagal had told her to wear a bikini or bra and panties under her clothes, and had her walk around the room in the bikini before saying he wanted to test their chemistry together and started touching her, Ms Dadis said.

“Steven sat there calmly as if nothing had happened while I was noticeably upset and terrified by the experience,” she said. “I left feeling horrified and totally violated.”

She said she told friends after about a month, but did not go to authorities at the time because she feared being blacklisted in the entertainment industry. She said Seagal later called her, but she never accepted the calls.

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Jenny McCarthy says Seagal sexually harassed her at an audition in 1995 (PA)

Ms Dadis said she was inspired by the recent wave of reports of sexual misconduct by men in the entertainment industry, and was spurred to come forward especially by actress Portia de Rossi saying Seagal once unzipped his trousers during an audition with her.

Ms Dadis spoke at the news conference alongside her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, and another woman, Regina Simons, who said Seagal sexually assaulted her in 1995 when she was 18, allegations she previously made on NBC in January.

Actress Jenny McCarthy has also said Seagal sexually harassed her at an audition in 1995.

Seagal said on his Facebook page that he had never met Simons and her story was fabricated, and he has denied the allegations from the other actresses.

Ms Bloom said there are no immediate plans for lawsuits.

A lawyer for Seagal said later that the actor adamantly denies the allegations made by Ms Dadis and Ms Simons.

Anthony Falangetti said the accounts of both women are “completely fictitious and totally made up”.

He added that the allegations are a disservice to women who are victimised because of real predators in the film industry.

Press Association

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