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Dustin Hoffman Sexually Harassed Me When I Was 17

Category: Gender based violence 
2017-11-02

The author, who slapped away the star's butt grabs and laughed off his vulgar language on the set of 1985 TV film 'Death of a Salesman,' still feels conflicted: "I loved the attention. Until I didn't."

 

 

This is a story I've told so often I'm sometimes surprised when someone I know hasn't heard it. It begins, "Dustin Hoffman sexually harassed me when I was 17." Then I give the details: When I was a senior in high school in New York City, interning as a production assistant on the set of the Death of a Salesman TV film, he asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did. He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me. 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.

 

 

The first several times I told this story, I left out the soft-boiled clitoris. When I finally started including it, my voice sometimes broke. But it got easier. When I spoke to a reporter recently and she told me she would have to track down people from the set to verify my account, I felt queasy. What would they say? I could only imagine them shaking their heads: "She didn't seem too bothered by it then. She sure laughed a lot."

 

 

There was so much I loved about being on set — taking John Malkovich's lunch orders and falling more deeply in love every time he spoke to me or said my name; bonding with the crew as we worked 16-hour days; hearing Arthur Miller say my first two names because they sounded like a word game, and that amused him; dancing the polka with Charles Durning, who made every room he entered a happier place. And yes, I loved the attention from Dustin Hoffman. Until I didn't.

 

 

During my five weeks on set, I detailed my days and mailed dispatches to my sister in London after making copies for myself. Recently, I reread them for the first time in several years.


*Some names have been changed

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Tags: Dustin Hoffman sexual harassment

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