LOS ANGELES – US actor Dustin Hoffman was accused on Wednesday of sexually harassing a 17-year-old female intern in 1985, a complaint made public by the woman herself in the online edition of The Hollywood Reporter.
Writer Anna Graham Hunter told the online publication that the actor, who is now 80 years old, groped her during the filming of the television film “Death of a Salesman” and spoke inappropriately about sexual matters with her.
Hunter, now 49, said that Hoffman asked her to massage his feet on the first day of filming and she did so.
She added that he acted in a flirtatious way, grabbed her buttocks and spoke to her about sex.
“One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time,” and then made what she interpreted as an extraordinarily inappropriate and sexually laden remark, Hunter recalled.
“His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried,” she said.
She discussed the alleged mistreatment she received from the actor in a diary that she sent to her sister at the time. The young woman spent five weeks working with the actor on the filming of “Death of a Salesman.”
Although she said that she still finds Hoffman “kind of sexy” and enjoyed spending time with him “until I didn’t,” Hunter added that “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,” she said.
In a statement, Hoffman responded to Hunter’s complaint and said he regretted the episode.
“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,” said the two-time Oscar winner for his roles in “Kramer vs. Kramer” and “Rain Man.”
The allegations come at a time of turmoil for the US film and television industry, which is mired in controversy after the huge scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers
Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of alleged abusive sexual behavior and rape.