DUSTIN Hoffman has apologised after being accused of sexual harassment against a teen intern on the set of a movie in 1985.
Hunter told The Hollywood Reporter that the harassment from the actor, who is now 80, was constant.
“He asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did,” Hunter wrote. “He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me. One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, ‘I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris.’ His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried.”
Hunter, who was 17 at the time, kept a diary while working onset and emailed her sister passages at the time. According to the New York Post, Hunter claimed that during her second week Hoffman asked whether she’d had sex over the weekend as he instructed. She says she “cracked up” at the conversation at the time.
A few days later, she referred to Hoffman as a “lech” in her letters and alleged that the star said he wanted her “right breast” for lunch, reports the Post. She called him a pig, but said it had little impact on his behaviour.
“Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my ass four times,” she wrote in another entry. “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.’”
The next week, Hunter wrote in her diary: “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.”
She explained that she had a conversation with Hoffman about his behaviour after the breakfast incident, and said that he’d apologised and was incredibly kind to her following the chat, but that her own supervisor advised her not to make it an issue, reports the New York Post.
She claims she was told to put up with his behaviour by a supervisor and “sacrifice” some of her values for the sake of the production.
“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.”
This is not the first time Hoffman has been accused of sexual misconduct. Actress Teri Garr, who played opposite Hoffman in the 1982 film Tootsie said that Hoffman would grab her bottom when they were filming.
In a 2008 interview with The AV Club she was asked about Jim Carrey’s disruptive behaviour onset and said it was nothing compared to Hoffman’s.
“Never! Not at all! Not as much as Dustin Hoffman on Tootsie, who would just do whatever he wanted to do,” she said. “I guess he felt above the law. We did that scene where I was supposed to burst out of an elevator, and he was in the elevator with me, and we’d hear them say, ‘Rolling!’ and ‘Action!’, and then he would grab my butt, so I’d come out of the elevator screaming. He’d say, ‘It’s good. You can’t pre-plan anything.’”
Meryl Streep, his co-star on Kramer vs. Kramer, has never worked with him again after he slapped her in a dramatic scene, he says, to improve her performance, while taunting her about the death of her boyfriend.
“I was getting divorced, I’d been partying with drugs and it depleted me in every way,” Hoffman said of his behaviour at the time.
The claims against Hoffman come as Hollywood heavyweights Harvey Weinstein, filmmaker James Toback, Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner have all been accused of sexual misconduct.
Oscar winner Kevin Spacey was accused of making a “sexual advance” on his co-star Anthony Rapp when Rapp was just 14 years old.
His allegations were followed by those of Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos who said that Spacey regularly preyer on young male actors. “It seems the only requirement was to be a male under the age of 30 for Mr Spacey to feel free to touch us,” he wrote on Facebook. Other men have since come forward with similar stories.