Dustin Hoffman faces second sexual harassment claim

  • Dustin Hoffman
  • 02/11/2017
A second woman has come forward with an allegation of harassment against Dustin Hoffman, a day after the actor was forced to apologise for his past behaviour.

Writer and producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis claims that Hoffman propositioned her during a pitch meeting in 1991, an encounter which she says left her close to tears.

Speaking to Variety, Riss Gatsiounis said that the meeting had originally been set up with Hoffman and Tootsie screenwriter Murray Schisgal, to discuss a prospective film adaptation of her play A Darker Purpose. However, at the meetings outset, Hoffman allegedly asked Riss Gatsiounis, who was in her 20s, whether she had had sex with a man over 40. Ill never forget he moves back, he opens his arms, and he says, It would be a whole new body to explore, Riss Gatsounis said.

Riss Gatsiounis says that Hoffman later asked her to go clothes shopping at a nearby hotel, a suggestion that left her completely flustered. Riss Gatsounis declined the offer. Schisgal then told her Hoffman was not interested in working with her.

The whole thing was just a source of torment for me. I was just this writer and he had been my hero, and it stayed with me for a long time, said Riss Gatsiounis.

In a statement about the claims, Schisgal told Variety that he had no recollection of this meeting, or of any of the behaviour or actions described. The Guardian is seeking comment from Hoffman.

The allegation is the second made against Hoffman in two days, following a claim by Anna Graham Hunter, who worked as a production intern in 1985 on a Death of a Salesman TV movie, starring Hoffman and John Malkovich. Hunter, who was 17 at the time of the alleged incident, wrote in the Hollywood Reporter that the actor had groped her and spoken inappropriately about sex with her.



Hoffman responded to her claims, saying: 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.

The allegations against Hoffman come at a time when Hollywood is contending with a number of stories of sexual abuse by men in the industry, including producer Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback, actor Kevin Spacey and film-maker Brett Ratner.
  
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