Richard Dreyfuss accused of harassing & exposing himself to a coworker in 1984

Richard Dreyfuss arrives at The Merrion Hotel Dublin

Much like Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss had a reputation back in the day. His reputation was a lot like Hoffman’s too – they were “difficult” actors, they were too Method, they were abusive to directors, producers and costars, and they mistreated women. Much like Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss seemingly chilled out a bit as he got older, although I tend to think that for Dreyfuss, it was less of a “chilling out” and more of a survival thing – he wouldn’t have gotten work if he continued to behave that way. So… I wondered if another shoe was going to drop after Harry Dreyfuss, Richard’s son, told his story about Kevin Spacey. I believe Harry Dreyfuss was assaulted by Kevin Spacey, absolutely. I also believe that Richard Dreyfuss regularly made women very uncomfortable back in the day too. One woman has come forward with her story about Richard Dreyfuss – you can read the full story here.

As Los Angeles–based writer Jessica Teich read the elder Dreyfuss’s tweet, she grew “bothered,” she says. “When I read about his support for his son, which I would never question, I remember thinking, But wait a minute, this guy harassed me for months,” Teich told me in an interview. “He was in a position of so much power over me, and I didn’t feel I could tell anyone about it. It just seemed so hypocritical.” She began drafting a Facebook post that she shared with her friends, one of whom is a New York staff member, who gave Teich my number. The harassment, Teich says, was constant over a two- to three-year period in the mid-1980s when she worked as a researcher and junior writer on a TV passion-project of Dreyfuss’s — and included an incident where she says that he exposed himself to her.

The project was an ABC comedy special called Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville, which Dreyfuss dreamed up, hosted, co-wrote, and produced to mark the bicentennial of the American Constitution. When Teich and Dreyfuss began working together in 1984 — first at the Mark Taper Forum theater in Los Angeles, where they met, and then on 200 — Teich was in her mid-20s and in an entry-level job, fresh out of grad school. Dreyfuss was 12 years older, married with a child, and starring in a play at the Taper, where Teich was a dramaturg. At the time, he held the record for becoming the youngest Best Actor Academy Award winner ever. “He wasn’t that much older than I was, but in every possible way his position in life couldn’t have been less comparable to mine,” says Teich. “That’s how vast the power differential was. He was famous, he was rich, he had an Oscar.” And, as she pointed out to me emphatically, “He was my boss. There was no question about it.”

[From Vulture]

You can read the details of Teich’s story here at Vulture. One of the first incidents involved him exposing himself to her and sort of beckoning her to go down on him. After she refused and walked away, Dreyfuss reportedly “created a very hostile work environment, where I felt sexualized, objectified, and unsafe.” In the weeks that followed, he would try to kiss her, slip her “I love you” notes and proposition her on a daily basis. One of the creepiest parts of the story is that they still were working with each other, one-on-one, and that involved traveling together. They would stay at the same hotel (but not the same hotel room) and Dreyfuss told her the next morning that “he’d spent the night with his ear next to the wall, listening to my movements in my hotel room.” NOT RIGHT.

Dreyfuss did release a lengthy statement to Vulture in which he says, in part, “At the height of my fame in the late 1970s I became an a–hole–the kind of performative masculine man my father had modeled for me to be. I lived by the motto, ‘If you don’t flirt, you die.’ And flirt I did. I flirted with all women.” He denies exposing himself to her and claims that this whole thing was just, in his mind at the time, part of his mating dance. Ugh. I can’t. I believe you, Jessica Teich.

45th AFI Life Achievement Award at a Gala Tribute To legendary actress Diane Keaton

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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17 Responses to “Richard Dreyfuss accused of harassing & exposing himself to a coworker in 1984”

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  1. I can’t. Mating ritual? No one ‘plays hard to get’ for YEARS Richard. She wasn’t interested and you were a creep.

  2. Neelyo says:

    All past Hollywood abuse will now be blamed on drug problems.

  3. trollontheloose says:

    I am so tired of men justifying their vile behavior by “I am a child of the 70′s/80s” or “they admire me that’s why” “I am my father’ son” “It was the Hollywood way from back in the day”… they were all in their 40s 50s and instead of saying “I would like to apologize to my behavior no they have to have lines of argumentation/explanation of why sexual assault and harassment was ok “back in the day”.

    • wood dragon says:

      It kills me too. I distinctly remember also that children were also supposed to be raised to behave themselves like ladies and gentlemen – and none of their behaviors reflect any sort of decent upbringing from that time. The shame is on them alone.

  4. Nancy says:

    This is so disturbing to read. Will it never stop. No, because it happens everywhere, in all professions and locations. Now is the time that the dam has broke. In his case, too bad Jaws wasn’t his co-worker, he could have bitten off his….well you know.

  5. nikzilla says:

    The floodgates are open. I can totally believe this one.

  6. ell says:

    i suspect there’s a lot more coming from that age group. i don’t think younger men are necessarily better, but for older men that stuff seems far more acceptable in their own eyes.

    this is why when people say they’d like to live in some past era i’m like, no thanks.

    • Nancy says:

      I was thinking the same thing. It’s like Mad Men or something. I’m sure the younger men have similar ideas, but it’s a new age. Hopefully, the days of the casting couch are over. I dread looking at these headlines, since it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Shit like this is why I break out in hives whenever people long for those bad old days and drone on about how people were more ‘morally upright’ back in the twentieth century. Between the messed up attitudes toward women and abuse, homophobia,and racism- it’s just so cringeworthy and revealing about what a person views as ‘morally good’ when they make that argument.

  7. DiligentDiva says:

    This is why I can’t with the “I’m so shocked and outraged” crowd of men and some women in Hollywood right now. All of them have either known about this behavior and kept quiet about it (all the while happily benefiting from people’s pain) and others take part in it and are desperate not to get caught.
    I knew the story about the son was sketchy. He was standing right their and didn’t realize Kevin Spacey was trying to hook up with his kid? BS, also they were doing a “scene” where Richard was pretending his son was his “lover” WTF? I don’t care if you’re an actor you don’t do that sh-t with your kids.
    He probably knew and didn’t care, it’s normal in Hollywood rape, to molest and to groom children.

  8. littlemissnaughty says:

    I’m sorry, did he just tell us he is merely a victim of the notion of toxic masculinity? Poor man was taught by his father to be a jackass. Aww. Go f*ck yourself.

    Also, I just saw the pic of Anthony Edwards in the Featured Links and thought “NOT HIM AS WELL” and then I read the title of the link. I’m done for today. Humanity sucks.

  9. greenmonster says:

    I’m not suprised anymore, but genuinely disheartened. I watched a german talk show last night about Sexism. The discussion alone was beyond frustrating, but following the # on Twitter made me cry. Men and women were joking how you can’t do anything anymore without being accused of harassment. They called the participating women names, called them out on their outfits and looks in general. Sometimes I think there is no smart life outside Celebitchy. This place makes me believe people understand and that there is a chance of turning things around, then I go somewhere else or just listen to people.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I’m debating whether to watch it tonight, frankly. These talkshows on German tv have become so milquetoast and more often than not, the discussion is derailed within 15 minutes. Should I give it a shot?

      • greenmonster says:

        I don’t know what to say to be honest. Maybe I was too distracted with all the Twitter comments, they left me speechless and with a lot of frustration and anger. Don’t follow the hashtag. Just don’t.
        Give the show a try, but get ready to roll your eyes every now and then at the comments of Frau Fendel.

  10. Dttimes2 says:

    Please dont let Tom Hanks, or Colin Farrel be next…

    Please dont let Tom Hanks, or Colin Farrel be next…

    Please dont let Tom Hanks, or Colin Farrel be next

  11. JRenee says:

    What’s with the deflection here. Yes I was a jerk, but hey, that was all learned behavior :-(