Dustin Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment by three women in a report published by Variety on Thursday, December 14.
One accuser, Cori Thomas, told the outlet that Hoffman, 80, exposed himself to her in a New York City hotel room in 1980 when she was 16 years old. Thomas, who said she was friendly with Hoffman’s daughter, Karina, when they were in high school together, claimed that she waited for her mother to pick her up from the Rain Man actor’s hotel room after spending the day with him and Karina in the city.
According to Thomas, Hoffman went into the bathroom and came back several minutes later barely dressed. “He came out of the bathroom with a towel at first wrapped around him, which he dropped,” she told Variety. “He was standing there naked.”
Thomas claims that the The Graduate actor put on a robe, sat on the bed and asked her to massage his feet — she agreed. “I didn’t know what to do in the circumstance. I didn’t know that I could say no, so I did it,” she said, then claiming that Hoffman asked her if she wanted to see him naked. Thomas said that she didn’t tell her parents about the alleged encounter until years later. She also claimed she never told Karina, who was a bridesmaid in her wedding, in order to avoid embarrassing her.
Another accuser, Melissa Kester, alleged that Hoffman sexually assaulted her while they were recording audio for the film Ishtar. According to Kester, she and Hoffman were in a sound booth and only visible to those outside the room from the chest up. Kester claimed that her boyfriend was in the other room while the alleged incident with Hoffman took place.
“He may have been being flirtatious, but it wasn’t to the point of being obscene, because my boyfriend’s there,” she told Variety. “Then they get ready to do another take. I’m standing there and it’s kind of a small room. He grabs me, so we’re both facing out so we’re both facing the people in the studio. I’m thinking that it’s kind of flirtatious and funny, like he’s holding onto me, because I’m going to help him sing better. I felt awkward. It’s a little weird. He’s hugging me while he’s singing … My boyfriend is right there.”
Kester claimed that Hoffman assaulted her while they sang together. “And he’s doing that, he literally just stuck his fingers down my pants,” she alleged. “He put his fingers inside me. And the thing I feel most bad about is I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there. I just froze in the situation like, ‘Oh my God, what is happening? It’s shocking when that happens to you.”
Kester said she later left the room crying. She also claimed she never told her boyfriend about the alleged encounter, but did share the details with a friend shortly after it occurred.
Speaking to Variety anonymously, a third woman claimed that Hoffman also assaulted her while working on Ishtar. The accuser also claimed that she and Hoffman had shared previous consensual sexual encounters.
According to the woman, Hoffman assaulted her in the back of a moving vehicle after the pair left the Ishtar wrap party with friends. “There are people inches from us,” the woman claimed. “And he just took his hand and stuck his fingers right up inside of me. I didn’t know what to do. He’s smiling at me. I was frozen. I was outside of my body.”
The woman claimed that, after the car dropped her off at her home, Hoffman gave her a $20 bill and told her to meet him at his home. She told Variety that she compiled and then claimed that the pair had another sexual encounter, although she wasn’t sure if it was consensual.
As previously reported, former production intern Anna Graham Hunter accused Hoffman of sexual harassment on the set of Death of a Salesman in 1985. Hunter detailed the alleged misconduct in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in November.
The Oscar winner responded to the allegations in a statement to THR: “I have the upmost 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.”
Us Weekly has reached out to Hoffman’s rep for comment.
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