- The Washington Times - Friday, December 8, 2017

Another actress has come forward to accuse Dustin Hoffman of sexually harassing her, saying the Oscar-winning actor groped and humiliated her on a regular basis while the two worked on a 1983 Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman.”

Kathryn Rossetter, who has appeared on various TV series such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter on Friday saying she was repeatedly tormented by someone she once considered a “hero.” She even provided a photo showing Mr. Hoffman smiling and cupping her breast.

Ms. Rossetter said Mr. Hoffman repeatedly groped her backstage during performances of “Death of a Salesman” and slipped his hands underneath her slip as she waited in the wings for a cue to laugh. She said Mr. Hoffman got increasingly bold and aggressive over time, and one night he “actually started to stick his fingers inside me” as she was mic’ed up for the show. She said Mr. Hoffman chose moments to violate her when she couldn’t speak for fear of the audience hearing her.

“Night after night I went home and cried. I withdrew and got depressed and did not have any good interpersonal relationships with the cast,” she wrote.

One night, Ms. Rossetter said Mr. Hoffman pulled her slip over her head, exposing her breasts to the crew backstage and causing her to miss a cue.

“When at last I found an opportunity, I pushed Dustin up against the wall screaming, ‘F– you! How would you like it if someone did that to you before you walked out on stage every night, Mr. Method Actor? Leave me alone!’” she recalled. “He did… for three days. And then it was back to groping as usual.”

Ms. Rossetter said Mr. Hoffman also had a ongoing gag of groping her breasts right before a picture was taken.

“Whenever he had a picture taken with me, he would put his arm around my rib cage and then grab my breast just before they snapped the picture and then remove it. He was very skilled at dropping his hand just as the picture snapped to avoid it being recorded,” she wrote.

“Only by luck do I have one such picture — where the camera caught him in the act,” she added. “A picture I had taken with hopes of sending it to my family. A millisecond in time. There I am — big smile and my arm moving toward his with the intention to push it away. But caught as it is, it seems I’m complicit with the gesture. I was not. Not ever.”

Ms. Rossetter said she was so enraged by Mr. Hoffman’s pre-photo grabs that one time she grabbed his crotch in retaliation. She said a photo of the incident wound up in Playboy magazine, showing “how fun-loving we serious theater people are,” which further humiliated her.

Mr. Hoffman’s representatives declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter about Ms. Rosseter’s account, but pointed the outlet to several other “Death of a Salesman” cast members who could not recall any of the behavior she described.

“It just doesn’t ring true,” production stage manager Tom Kelly said. “Given my position, it’s insulting to say this kind of activity would go on to the extent of sexual violation.”

Ms. Rossetter’s essay follows similar allegations by Anna Graham Hunter, who penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter claiming Mr. Hoffman repeatedly groped her and made inappropriate comments when she was 17 and interning as a production assistant on a “Death of a Salesman” TV movie adaptation in 1985.

Mr. Hoffman later said the behavior Ms. Hunter described “is not reflective of who I am” and that he felt terrible that “anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation.”

The actor has also been accused by “The Graduate” co-star Katharine Ross of groping her on the set and by writer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis for allegedly propositioning her in 1991. Meryl Streep also accused the actor in 1979 of groping her breast while she was auditioning for a play he was directing, but she walked back the claim last month.

Mr. Hoffman sparred with comedian John Oliver after the late-night host questioned him about the claims during an anniversary screening panel for Barry Levinson’s film “Wag the Dog” in New York earlier this week. Mr. Hoffman said the allegations weren’t true and questioned why they were only surfacing now, decades later.

The allegations against Mr. Hoffman have surfaced amid a major culture shift in the way Americans view sexual misconduct in the workplace, sparked by the rapid downfall of film producer Harvey Weinstein, dubbed the “Weinstein effect.”


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide