Second Woman Accuses Dustin Hoffman Of Sexual Harassment
The actor has been accused of making lewd comments to women in 1985 and 1991.
A second woman on Thursday accused Dustin Hoffman of sexually harassing her, a day after the actor issued an apology in response to claims from a writer about his behavior on the set of a 1985 film.
Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, currently a writer and producer on the Emmy-nominated show Genius on National Geographic, told Variety she met Hoffman in 1991 to discuss adapting a play she wrote into a film.
In one meeting, Riss Gatsiounis alleged Hoffman asked her if she had "ever been ever been intimate with a man over 40?"
"I’ll never forget — he moves back, he opens his arms, and he says, ‘It would be a whole new body to explore... I’m trying to go back to my pitch, and I’m trying to talk about my play," Riss Gatsiounis said. "Then Dustin Hoffman gets up and he says he has to do some clothing shopping at a nearby hotel, and did I want to come along? He’s like, ‘Come on, come to this nearby hotel.'”
Riss Gatsiounis said she refused to go to the hotel, and the meeting ended abruptly.
A spokesperson for Hoffman declined to comment to Variety.
Screenwriter Murray Schisgal, who Riss Gatsiounis said was at the meeting, told Variety he "had no recollection" of the incident.
The allegation came a day after Hoffman issued an apology after a woman alleged the actor sexually harassed her when she was a 17-year-old working as a production assistant on the 1985 TV movie adaptation of Death of a Salesman.
"He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me," Anna Graham Hunter wrote for the Hollywood Reporter.
"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," she wrote.
The guest columnist published diary excerpts she penned as a teen on the film set in which she documented repeated instances in which she said Hoffman asked about her sex life, made vulgar comments, and asked her for a foot massage.
"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."
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Hoffman said, "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."
Volker Schlondorff, the director behind Death of a Salesman, issued a statement to the Hollywood Reporter on Friday defending Hoffman, describing him as a "kidder" on set who teased young interns to make them feel included.
"Slapping her butt on the way to the car, with driver, stage manager and PAs around, may have happened, but again in a funny way, nothing lecherous about it. He was a clown," Schlondorff said, adding that he never witnessed any groping.
A representative for Hoffman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Graham Hunter's specific allegations.
His costars from the TV movie, John Malkovich and Stephen Lang, who according to Graham Hunter heard Hoffman make vulgar remarks, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hoffman is currently promoting Netflix's The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), directed by Noah Baumbach, and is a voice actor in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. He is set to be honored with the Actor Tribute Award at the Gotham Awards in November. Representatives for Netflix, Baumbach, Universal, and the Gotham Awards did not immediately respond to requests for comment.