Wednesday 18 September 2019

Hoffman is latest star accused of sex assault

Actor Dustin Hoffman takes a picture as he attends ‘The
Meyerowitz Stories’ photocall during the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Getty Images
Actor Dustin Hoffman takes a picture as he attends ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ photocall during the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Getty Images

Christian Vander

Hollywood's widening sexual harassment scandal has now engulfed Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman.

The veteran star came forward to apologise for allegedly sexually harassing a 17-year-old intern in 1985.

Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges in a column in the 'Hollywood Reporter' that the now 80-year-old actor groped her on the set of TV movie 'Death of a Salesman' and "talked about sex to me and in front of me."

Hoffman issued a statement yesterday, apologising for "anything I might have done [that] could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."

Meanwhile, six women including actress Olivia Munn, accused director Brett Ratner of sexual assault or misconduct in a 'Los Angeles Times' report yesterday. Ms Munn also complained about onset behaviour, alleging that while visiting the set of Ratner's 'After the Sunset' in 2004, he masturbated in front of her in his trailer.

Munn described the incident, without naming Ratner, in a 2010 collection of essays.

Representatives for Ratner didn't immediately respond to queries. Ratner directed the 'Rush Hour' film series, 'Red Dragon', 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 'Tower Heist'.

Warner Bros, which has a first-look deal with Ratner, said in a statement: "We are aware of the allegations in the 'LA Times' and are reviewing the situation."

The 'LA Times' report describes other encounters where Ratner aggressively pursued actresses, sometimes following them into a bathroom.

Ratner and Hoffman are the latest Hollywood figures to face allegations of misusing their power to harass actresses, a list that now includes producer Harvey Weinstein and writer-director James Toback.

Harassment allegations have also been levied against actors Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven.

Police in Beverly Hills on Tuesday announced they had launched criminal investigations over complaints received about Weinstein and Toback.

Weinstein also is being investigated for sexual assault or rape by police in Los Angeles, New York and London.

Weinstein has denied engaging in any non-consensual sexual contact. His representative, Sallie Hofmeister, had no comment on the Beverly Hills investigation. The department said late on Tuesday that it was investigating Weinstein and Toback after receiving "multiple complaints," although the department did not specify the nature of the complaints.

Dozens of women, including actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams, alleged that Toback sexually harassed or assaulted them.

Irish Independent

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