More women have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 1980s, stepping forward in two stories published one after the other Thursday by Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
Also on Thursday, Hoffman’s first accuser described how the Variety report came to be. In an essay for the Los Angeles Times, the accuser, Anna Graham Hunter, wrote about women coming forward to her and said that “the process of bringing sexual harassment stories to light is still a tedious mess.”
The actor, now 80, had earlier issued a conditional apology to Hunter, saying that if he had put her in an uncomfortable situation, he was sorry. He said he didn’t remember his interaction with her on the set of TV movie “Death of a Salesman,” where she had worked as an intern.
Hoffman attorney Mark A. Neubauer of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt didn’t immediately respond to an L.A. Times request on Friday for comment regarding the new allegations but told Variety that the women’s stories were “defamatory falsehoods.”
The stories include playwright Cori Thomas’ account to both outlets about an encounter in 1980 when she was 16. A friend of Hoffman’s daughter Karina, Thomas alleged in both stories that found herself in the actor's hotel room after the three went out for dinner in Manhattan.
Thomas said she was originally to have been picked up at the restaurant by her mother, but after Karina went home to her mother (Hoffman and his wife had separated), the actor changed plans and convinced her to accompany him to his hotel room.
There, Thomas alleged to both outlets, Hoffman took a shower, came out in a towel, dropped it to reveal himself naked, got in bed and asked her to massage his feet.
She said she felt too intimidated to refuse him.
Video editor Melissa Kester also told Variety that Hoffmanmolested her during an "Ishtar" recording session in 1985, when she was 20. (The Los Angeles Times has not independently corroborated either Thomas’ or Kester’s account.)
Before Thursday, Hoffman described some of the allegations against him as taken out of context, explaining that on set the cast and crew are a sort of family and any bawdy behavior is intended to break the tension on long days of shooting. Earlier this month, at a Tribeca Film screening of “Wag the Dog,” in a tense panel discussion of allegations that have been leveled against the actor by Hunter and Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Hoffman accused panel host John Oliver of rushing to judgment.
“Because someone has alleged something, I’m guilty. You push a button. It’s all over the world. I’m a predator. I’m this and that and it’s not true,” Hoffman told Oliver.