Last week, we discussed Dustin Hoffman and how he’s a flaming bag of garbage. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, many other well-known and long-time sexual harassers and assailants have been “outed,” and Hoffman’s name keeps coming up. Go here and here to read the accounts of two of Hoffman’s victims.
When the Hoffman stories came out last week, I recalled the Meryl Streep story I covered last year – Vanity Fair published excerpts from a book about Meryl, and there was an account of Hoffman’s deplorable behavior towards Meryl as they filmed Kramer vs Kramer. Go back and read that story – during filming of an emotional scene, Dustin Hoffman slapped Meryl (off-script) and verbally taunted her about the recent death of her lover John Cazale. It seems that Meryl also told an interviewer in 1979 that Hoffman groped her when they first met. From Slate:
Take this 1979 interview in Time magazine, in which Meryl Streep described auditioning for a play Dustin Hoffman had directed several years earlier. It was apparently the first time they had met. “He came up to me and said, ‘I’m Dustin—burp—Hoffman,’ and he put his hand on my breast,” Streep said. “What an obnoxious pig, I thought.” (Hoffman doesn’t appear to have responded publicly to this claim from Streep in the years since the interview.)
Streep’s story echoes Dustin Hoffman’s own account of “very gently” pinching his Graduate co-star Katharine Ross’ rear end during their first screen test. He did it, he said in a 1992 interview, “as a way to help loosen us up.” Stories about him have circulated in the press for years, framed as the behavior of a playful playboy. “I’m a flirt,” the actor told People magazine in a 1983 cover story. “I also have a lot of chauvinism, a lot of womanizing in my past. It’s hard for me to find a woman unattractive, unless she’s angry or down on herself.” He once told Playboy that he lost his virginity at 15 to a 20-year-old “nymphomaniac” when he pretended, in a darkened room, to be his older brother, Ronny.
The hagiographic 1982 biography ‘Dustin Hoffman: Hollywood’s Antihero’ rounds up several disturbing anecdotes as evidence that Hoffman is a known “womanizer”: “Even Dustin has admitted on occasion that he loves to flirt, claiming that he does it as an involuntary reflex. He has supposedly cornered women in elevators to solicit sex and has even unzipped one woman reporter’s blouse to peek down her chest during an interview. He tries to catch himself, but finds it difficult to overcome the temptation.”
Regarding the specific claim that Meryl made in 1979, Meryl’s rep told E! News that the article is “not an accurate rendering of that meeting” and “There was an offense and it is something for which Dustin apologized. And Meryl accepted that.” So… something did happen and he apologized for it at some point. But why isn’t anyone discussing the story about Hoffman assaulting Meryl on the set of Kramer vs. Kramer??? Also: go and read that full Slate article that I excerpted. Hoffman is a serial harasser and assailant. He’s garbage.
Photos courtesy of Getty.