AceShowbiz - Dustin Hoffman is another Hollywood big player caught up in sexual harassment scandal. The actor was accused by an author named Anna Graham Hunter of making crude comments and groping her on the set of his TV movie "Death of a Salesman".
"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 80-year-old actor apologized in response to the accusations.
In a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter, Hunter revealed that the incident happened in 1985 when she was a high school senior doing a production assistant internship. He was already married back then, but it didn't stop him from sexually harassing her.
Hunter met Hoffman on her first day of work when she brought chairs to his dressing room. He was in the middle of getting a foot massage from a woman but he asked her take the woman's place. "I loved the attention from Dustin Hoffman," she said. "Until I didn't."
Hunter became less comfortable with the actor when his behavior escalated. "He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my a**, he talked about sex to me and in front of me," she claimed. She complained but she got scolded by a female supervisor instead.
"She said that for the sake of the production we have to sacrifice some of our values and just let it roll over our heads." Hunter recalled. "She said we should try to have a sense of humor and just giggle and slap his hands or something. But that's when I feel the cheapest, like, 'Oh, she really likes it.' "
Hunter regularly sent letters to her sister during her internship. In one passage of her diary-like letters written when she was 17, she shared, "Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my a** four times. I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man."
In another note, she wrote, "This morning when I asked Dustin what he wanted for breakfast, he said something that beat even his lows. It was worse than anything anyone has ever said to me on the street. It was so gross I couldn't say anything. I just turned around and walked out." It was a "soft-boiled clitoris" that he allegedly asked for his breakfast.
Hunter was not the only woman suffering from sexual harassment at the hands of Hoffman. Another production assistent named Elizabeth "asked him what he wanted for lunch and he said, 'Your left breast.' " She called him "disgusting," but he was undeterred and he asked for her "right breast."
When Hunter talked to his assistant about his misconduct, he allegedly shouted, "Anna! Are you badmouthing me? Anna! Get over here, Anna!" "The whole crew was cracking up, and I ducked behind a set," she remembered. She later confronted him, "I told him that I didn't appreciate his wandering hands or his comments. He apologized and said he would stop."
"At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere. 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," Hunter wrote in THR.
"Mostly though, my heart aches. It aches for the teenager who was so thrilled to join a movie star's party that she gave him a foot rub even though she didn't want to, even though she tried to protest she wasn't good at it. My heart aches for the awkward virgin with the bad hair who had only been kissed three times in her life, laughing as the man her father's age talked about breasts and sex. I want to weep that she found this charming."