A woman has accused actor Dustin Hoffman of repeatedly making sexual comments and touching her inappropriately on a film set years ago, amid the continued outpouring of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Hollywood heavy hitters.
Actress Anna Graham Hunter, who was 17 years old when she worked as a production assistant intern for the 1985 TV movie, "Death of a Salesman," wrote in a Nov. 1 article in The Hollywood Reporter that Hoffman talked graphically to her about sex, had her give him a foot massage and groped her while filming.
"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. "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 shared a number of journal entries she kept during that period describing inappropriate behavior that some of her supervisors reportedly encouraged her not to confront or complain about.
"Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my a*s four times," reads one of the entries. "I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man. He took off his hat and pointed to his head (shaved for the part) and said, 'No, I'm a dirty young man, I have a full head of hair.'"
Hoffman also reportedly asked Hunter questions like, "So, did you have sex over the weekend like I told you?" and would ask for sex organs when Hunter and another female production assistant took his food order.
When they reprimanded him for his behavior, people floated the idea of firing them, and when Hunter told Hoffman that she did not appreciate "his wandering hands or his comments" -- for which Hoffman then apologized and backed off, as Hunter recounted -- her supervisor encouraged her to "sacrifice some of [her] values" and "have a sense of humor and just giggle and slap his hands or something."
"I laugh at most things because I don't want to appear hard-nosed, but sometimes I just can't," she wrote. "You know? Most of this deference is directly because of my sex. I find that hard to deal with. I hope it's over now. Who knows, maybe Dustin respects me because of what I said."
Following the publication, Hoffman responded in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
"I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation," Hoffman said. "I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."
In addition to Hoffman, "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey, "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner and NPR senior editor Michael Oreskes have also been accused of sexual harassment in the wake of numerous women coming forward to speak out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, notes the BBC.