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Actor Dustin Hoffman apologized on Wednesday after being accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old intern in 1985 on the set of a TV adaptation of "Death of a Salesman."
In a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter, Anna Graham Hunter alleged that, while working as a production assistant on the project, she was targeted by the actor with a range of inappropriate behavior, including groping her and directing crude comments at her.
"He asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did," Hunter writes. "He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me."
A representative for Hoffman did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Times about the allegations. But in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, the 80-year-old actor expressed remorse for his alleged behavior.
"I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation," Hoffman said. "I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."
The allegations against Hoffman are the latest in a series of sexual harassment accusations to emerge in the past month against Hollywood figures including film mogul Harvey Weinstein, former Amazon Studios head Roy Price and directors James Toback and Brett Ratner.
In her column, Hunter, who is now 49 and working on a memoir, wrote that her feelings toward Hoffman – who won an Emmy for his performance in "Death of a Salesman" – were complicated at the time and remain so to this day.
"Yes, he was gross. But he could also be sweet and wanted me to like him. Which I did," she writes. "I would be more comfortable if I felt nothing but revulsion for a man who had power over me and abused it. But I still like watching him onscreen."
At the same time, she writes, "I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere. He was a predator, I was a child, and this was sexual harassment."
A two-time Oscar winner for the films "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Rain Man," Hoffman most recently starred in director Noah Baumbach's dramedy "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)," for which he has received strong reviews.