A day after Dustin Hoffman apologized for anything he "might have done" that caused a former intern to accuse him of sexual harassment dating back to 1985, a second woman has come forward with new allegations of harassment against the actor.
Wendy Riss Gatsiounis told Variety in an interview published Wednesday that when she was a struggling playwright in her 20s in 1991, she had two meetings with Hoffman and "Tootsie" screenwriter Murray Schisgal to discuss possibly adapting her play "A Darker Purpose" into a feature film.
Riss Gatsiounis, who in recent years has worked as a writer on "Reign" and story editor on "The Killing," said the first meeting started with Hoffman joking to Schisgal that the screenwriter couldn't ask her whether she had a boyfriend or husband because times were changing. The meeting then turned professional, she said, and she was asked to rewrite her movie pitch.
Three weeks later, she said, Hoffman was "really different" at a second meeting and asked her whether she'd ever been intimate with anyone over 40; Riss Gatsiounis said she tried to laugh it off, but he kept going.
"I'll never forget — he moves back, he opens his arms, and he says, 'It would be a whole new body to explore,' " she told Variety. Then, Riss Gatsiounis alleged, he asked her to come with him to go clothes shopping at a local hotel. She said she repeatedly refused, the actor left and Schisgal told her they weren't really interested in her movie pitch, which had not been discussed at the meeting.
She called the alleged incident "a source of torment" as she wondered for months whether she had damaged her career. When she talked to her agent immediately after the meeting, she said, she had been near tears.
Hoffman's rep did not reply Thursday to a request from The Times for comment. However, in a statement Wednesday to the Hollywood Reporter, he said regarding allegations made by Anna Graham Hunter, "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. It is not reflective of who I am."
In a guest column for THR on Wednesday, Hunter, who at 17 interned as a production assistant on Hoffman's "Death of a Salesman" TV movie, alleged a pattern of escalating crude language and behavior by the actor toward her over the course of five weeks in 1985.
Hunter, who's now a writer in L.A., said her supervisor at the time advised her to "try to have a sense of humor and just giggle and slap his hands or something."