Dustin Hoffman assaulted a young actress on a nightly basis during a Broadway run

2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards

It was no surprise to me to see Dustin Hoffman “outed” as a pig, a bastard and a misogynist in the middle of Sex Predatorgate 2017. The surprise was how many women he had abused physically, verbally and emotionally over the course of decades, and how many women’s careers and lives were derailed because of it. Anna Graham Hunter was 17 years old when she worked with Hoffman in 1985 – she wrote about the experience, detailing the myriad ways he harassed her and assaulted her on a daily basis. In 1991, he did the same thing with a young playwright named Wendy Riss Gatsiounis. When John Oliver dared to ask Hoffman for an explanation for his victims’ accounts, Hoffman got pissy, defensive and claimed he had never even met Anna Graham Hunter. He also incoherently used Tootsie as a defense for why he loves women and whatever. He’s a pig.

Following all of that, Hoffman’s victims are still coming forward. The Hollywood Reporter says that following the publication of Hunter’s essay and following John Oliver’s attempts to challenge the patriarchy, “several other women have approached the publication with similar stories about Hoffman’s conduct at various times and places dating back to the 1970s.” One of those women is named Kathryn Rossetter. She costarred with Hoffman in Death of a Salesman on Broadway and in the TV movie. You can read her full THR piece here:

Rossetter was a young actress when she auditioned for Death of a Salesman, and Hoffman was basically the reason she got the role. She admired him and worshipped him as an actor, and she was grateful to him for advocating on her behalf to the producers. When they were in rehearsals, he manipulated her into a hotel room and demanded a back rub. She gave him a “lame” back rub and the maid interrupted them. Then, when the play began, the harassment and assault became a nightly thing:

Since they loved my laugh, it was decided that I would stand in the wings on stage left at a mic and laugh on cue in a memory scene being played out on the stage. My laugh had to be choreographed and timed. That scene led directly into the scene in the second act with Dustin and me in the hotel room and Biff walking in on us. My costume was a vintage slip, no bra, garter belt and stockings. The wing space was limited, so directly behind me was a chair where Dustin would sit, with his dresser in attendance, to take water and a short rest before our final scene together.

One night in Chicago, I felt his hand up under my slip on the inside of my thighs. I was completely surprised and tried to bat him away while watching the stage for my cues. After the show he was busy with the producer and director so I had no access to him to address it. It then happened almost every show. Six to eight shows a week. I couldn’t speak to him in the moment because I was on a live mic. He kept it up and got more and more aggressive. One night he actually started to stick his fingers inside me. Night after night I went home and cried. I withdrew and got depressed and did not have any good interpersonal relationships with the cast. How could the same man who fought to get me the job, who complimented my work, who essentially launched my career, who gave me the benefit of his wisdom as an actor, how could he also be this sexual power abuser? Was I doing something? Was it my fault?

The groping continued. After the shows at parties, whenever he had a picture taken with me, he would put his arm around my rib cage and then grab my breast just before they snapped the picture and then remove it. He was very skilled at dropping his hand just as the picture snapped to avoid it being recorded. But it was pre-digital. You didn’t know what was there until they were developed. Only by luck do I have one such picture — where the camera caught him in the act. A picture I had taken with hopes of sending it to my family. A millisecond in time. There I am — big smile and my arm moving toward his with the intention to push it away. But caught as it is, it seems I’m complicit with the gesture. I was not. Not ever.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

It went on and on, night after night. One night he even told crew members he was going to assault her in a different way, so they all gathered backstage to watch as Hoffman surprised her by pulling down her slip and revealing her breasts to all of the men. She was so disoriented, she missed a cue and when she tried to explain what happened, she was the one who was punished. And it kept happening, over and over again. Ugh.

BFI London Film Festival The Meyerowitz Stories

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

64 Responses to “Dustin Hoffman assaulted a young actress on a nightly basis during a Broadway run”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Nicole says:

    Ughhhhh f*ck this guy. I’m glad Oliver went after you.
    Not surprising again these stories have been out there. But still horrifying

    • Sabrine says:

      She was just trying to make a living and do well but she had to deal with a sexual predator who held all the power. She would have gotten nowhere and been fired if she had reported him. I was 19 when the middle aged man at the next desk at work harassed me on a daily basis for over two years. I felt flustered and confused but needed that paycheck to survive. This was back in the day. I never even thought about reporting him.

    • Sara says:

      For some reason this story is so f-cking gross. I hope he never works again.

  2. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    Her story is so heartbreaking in how real it is. These ‘little’ indignities, one by one, that women have little choice but to endure. Truly a death by a thousand cuts. I’m happy that she had the space to finally tell her story, and I hope she found some closure by finally confronting him.

  3. Loopy says:

    I cannot believe he used Tootsie as a defence. Wtf?!!

    • ms single malt says:

      A long time ago I saw an interview with Hoffman where he said he asked producers to make him more beautiful in Tootsie. He said when he was told that it was as good as it was going get, he realized he would not have been attractive enough for him to notice at a party. And then he realized that he had been overlooking getting to know many “interesting” women because he had only approached attractive women.

      • Laura says:

        The Tootsie defense was disturbing itself.As if he could identify with being a woman by dressing up for one role and implying women deemed unattractive to men were ignored and thereby would not feel validated as a human being.As if the end all be all for women is being sexually admired by a man.That statement spoke volumes.

  4. Peggy says:

    Dustin is a turd, and the cast from ‘Death of a Salesman’ claiming they did not see anything, your day will come.
    Keep outing all these sexual predators.

  5. Anastasia says:

    Yep. Never watching a Hoffman film ever again, old or new. F*ck this guy with a cactus.

  6. Sixer says:

    We need full matriarchy, don’t we?

  7. wood dragon says:

    Not too surprised about Hoffman. He has always come across as a hard personality – to work with and to simply be around. Dude needs to retire and hope that there won’t be charges pending. Otherwise he is so screwed and like spacey he did it to himself.

  8. Renee2 says:

    I hate this man. I feel like crying having just read this. The crew were all complicit in this, and so were the director and producers, if they knew and punished her for it.

    • HadToChangeMyName says:

      That’s what angered me the most, that he wasn’t hiding doing this; he did it in full view and with full approval. I can only imagine how isolated and helpless she must have felt. Gah!

      • Rai-rai says:

        This is what sickened me the most: there were people watching! They could’ve helped her! They could’ve stopped it! Instead, they just stood and wachted and were approving of how she got humiliated, harassed and assaulted. But heeey, they weren’t actually doing anything, eh? They’re good guys, eh? I can’t even imagine the horror of working in such an environment, it probably felt like any of those people could have assaulted her to any extent, WITH witnesses.

        And that he actually got her this job… How horrible it must be to feel that your talents and hard work have been appreciated only to find out that it was so you could be sexually assaulted.

        Seriously, jail for him and jail for all those people that stood and watched.

      • Tara says:

        Yeah, and now he’s pulling cronies out of his @ss saying they never witnessed any such behavior… which, even if true … doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    • Betsy says:

      This is disgusting, isn’t it? I want those “not all men” losers to read this and realize THIS IS WHY WOMEN DONT COME FORWARD. There’s a machine that protects the abusers.

    • lucy2 says:

      Isn’t that horrible? Not a single one of them spoke up for her. She must have felt so very alone.
      I’m glad she has the chance to tell her story now, and Hoffman has to live with everyone knowing now.

    • bella says:

      This is plain and simply sexual assault and there were witnesses that not only watched it, but were complicit! I wonder if she can bring criminal charges against him even though it was over 40m years ago? I will never watch another movie of his–ever.

  9. Square Bologna says:

    May all the sexual predators die horribly, after years of suffering the shame and humiliation they richly deserve.

  10. Samantha says:

    Dustin Hoffman has been the most disappointing of all the recent outings for me, really loved him before.

    Kathryn’s full article is really detailed and makes it clear her experience was very dehmunizing. It’s a shame those people at the end of the article defended Hoffman, people should just stop commenting on things they weren’t a part of.

  11. island_girl says:

    Dustin Hoffman = Trash human

  12. Annie says:

    Pig. Ugly, loathsome, despicable, disgusting pig.

  13. Lindy says:

    The relentless dehumanization that he subjected her to is nauseating. I hope his career suffers the way Spacey’s has.

  14. Maya says:

    I just can’t anymore – I feel emotionally exhausted and sick that it just gets worse and worse.

    I tell myself to not to read these horrible stories but I feel that these poor victims have been silenced enough and their voices needs to be heard. So I continue to hear their voices and will give as much support as I can.

  15. monette says:

    This garbage! And they dared say to John Oliver that it was not the place to ask him hard questions??
    I’m so angry right now! This is why it keeps happening and why they never stop. Because they are protected from consequences.
    Because they are not fired and shamed and put on the spot.
    Yuck!!

  16. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I’m so done with men. This isn’t just a few. It’s more than a few. And the one who arent doing this s*it are DEFENDING the ones doing it. Between Hollywood and Washington DC men are literally ruining the world. Smash the patriarchy and let women take control.

  17. Sparkly says:

    This is so horrible! I’m infuriated for her. I can’t believe it was allowed to go on regularly, and onstage even!

    I used to really like both Hoffman and Kevin Spacey, and it makes me absolutely sick. I hope we start seeing real justice for the victims.

  18. Lala says:

    That POS mofo is ACTUALLY COPING A FEEL IN THAT PIC!!!! I can’t with this!!!!

  19. Natalie S says:

    He’s a serial rapist. What he did to her is rape. There needs to be repercussions. That POS is over. Anyone who tries to prop him up is over.

  20. Lifeside says:

    I wonder if Lainey Gossip will cover this? Probably not, Dustin is one of her favourites. That site is so hypocritical.

  21. Lisa says:

    This asshole. He’s not even attractive to me now. I used to like him and enjoy his movies, but now he just looks like the slimy fucking creep that he is.

  22. Sue says:

    Another name to add to my do not watch list.

  23. Aren says:

    This is one of the worse cases I’ve heard because, same as with Singer, they made their victims come across as willing participants.
    Accepting a job, money or an acting role is not the same as saying “yes” to being abused. Nobody wants to be abused, and nobody should use their power to humiliate others.

  24. nicegirl says:

    I am pretty sure I left a comment on an older story about him that was complimentary and I am just kicking myself, thinking, how can I ever think someone is good without actually knowing them? And even then? . . . . What a pig.

  25. holly hobby says:

    Ugh so much ew! Well at least he’s old and he’s not making movies anymore. Another one cancelled.

  26. Penelope says:

    This is horrifying and sickening. WTF, Dustin Hoffman? Never lost so much respect for a celebrity so fast. He should be ostracized forever or better yet in jail. That poor woman.

  27. paddingtonjr says:

    Dear Dustin and any other man or woman who is “confused about the rules” and/or who thinks assaulting co-workers is just harmless fun: just don’t touch, fondle or finger your co-worker’s breasts, genitals, bum or any other body part while at work, in hotel rooms or during a party. In fact, just don’t do it at all, even if they beg you too or laugh when you do (trust me, they will never beg you for it and, if they laugh, it is only because they can’t believe you just did that and don’t know how to process the intrusion). Also, pictures of you grabbing someone’s genitals, breasts or similar body part ,whether they are asleep or awake, swatting away your hand or smiling, are NOT FUNNY AND/OR BOYS BEING BOYS. Likewise, exposing your or someone else’s breasts, genitals or bum is not acceptable in any situation, and definitely not in front of the entire cast and/or crew. It is not funny, it is not comical and it most certainly not to be chalked up to the “artist’s method”. It is assault and it needs to stop.

  28. Jag says:

    I hope that his career is destroyed.

    That said, I truly do not understand why she would have stayed in that production with him assaulting her every night. Why not leave? Was the draw of the audience’s attention and the allure of “making it big” so great that she would subject herself to nightly assaults? There had to be other ways she could have been making money.

    I truly don’t understand it. I have left jobs before when things were of a sexual harassment nature and I didn’t want to be part of it, or have it happen to me. I am not saying that she deserved what happened to her – at all. Hoffman is a pig.

    I’m saying that when she knew it was going to happen nightly, why did she not go over his head and quit if nothing was done? Fame isn’t something that I covet, so perhaps that’s why I don’t understand.

  29. Rocket says:

    Good on these women for coming out about this creep. In no way blaming the victims or justifying his behaviour but for analysis’s sake, I’m a laid back person by nature, but I’ve observed in my adult years I’ve learned to go from 0 (super laid back) to 100 (aggressive and domineering) in an instant. This ready-to-switch-on state can be stressful but it helps you in the corporate world and other scenarios where you’d better be ready to snap out and lash out at inappropriate behaviour.

  30. Eve V says:

    I almost cried while reading her full story. All of the stories that have came out recently are horrific, but for some reason, this one really got me in the gut. I hope Dustin Hoffman has to face some kind of consequences. F*ck him.

  31. anon14 says:

    Ugh. It’s funny (not funny ha-ha but funny-unbelievably-repulsive) that the excuse he gave during the John Oliver interview for putting his hand on Katharine Ross’s chest or butt was the sexual “atmosphere on the set”, meaning the Graduate set in 1967 in the so-called swinging 60s… yet he did the exact same thing 12 years later in 1979 to Meryl Streep when they started rehearsing/filimng “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

  32. Luci Lu says:

    I remember reading about him slapping the shit out of Meryl Streep, years ago, when they were filming ‘Kramer vs Kramer’, and I hated him then. He’s an arrogant little pig, and hopefully, this perverted shit ends his career, and spares the public from having to look at him again.

  33. zuzusgirl says:

    He’s always given me the creeps. Glad it’s coming out. I wish ( but won’t count on it ) that his reputatio would be destroyed.

  34. whatever says:

    where is the list of names of the staff who worked for “death of a salesman” in which this abuse was happening in full view?

  35. Vovacia says:

    That made me sick. Angry and sick. And the dresser is just as bad.