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Fame and celebrity

Dustin Hoffman faces more claims of sexual assault and lurid misconduct with teenage girls

‘I just ran out of there, and I sat in the bathroom crying. I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I felt like I’d just been raped’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 December, 2017, 3:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 December, 2017, 6:43pm

Five more women have come forward to accuse actor Dustin Hoffman of sexual assault on Thursday, with two accusers alleging they were in their teens when he exposed himself to them, and, in one case, allegedly masturbating in front of a 15-year-old.

The new claims to Variety, which Hoffman’s attorney dismissed as “defamatory falsehoods,” and The Hollywood Reporter bring the total number of accusations against the Oscar-winning actor to eight.

Pauline, who asked that her last name be withheld, told The Hollywood Reporter that she was 15 years old when Hoffman invited her to his home, exposed himself in his daughter’s bedroom and masturbated in front of her in 1973 when he was 36.

Pauline said she first met the actor while she was working in a Manhattan clothing store, and that they developed a sort of friendship in which he would occasionally pop in and say hello.

She told THR that Hoffman asked her to see a movie one afternoon, and afterward asked if she wanted to visit his home to see his puppy.

It was there that Hoffman led her into his daughter Karina’s room, exposed himself and masturbated in front of her.

“I’d never even seen a naked man before. I had never seen anything like it. I didn’t know what to say, what to do. I was sitting there eyes wide open. ‘I’ll be finished soon,’ he said. I didn’t even know what to say,” Pauline said.

As Hoffman allegedly continued, she asked to go home. Pauline said she didn’t confide in anyone at the time, but that the experience had a profound impact on her, and put her off acting forever.

Cori Thomas, a playwright, shared a similar story with Variety.

She was just 16 when she met up with Hoffman and Karina for a day out in New York City in 1980.

Thomas claimed she was initially excited by the days’ events, as Karina was a friend from school and Hoffman, who she said had thus far talked with her respectfully, was one of her idols.

Thomas said the plan was for her parents to pick her from dinner at an Upper East Side restaurant, but Hoffman suggested that the trio instead visit his hotel room.

I’d never even seen a naked man before. I had never seen anything like it. I didn’t know what to say
Pauline

“Either Karina or Dustin suggested that (Karina) should go home because it was a school night and she had homework. So she left, and I was left in the hotel room with him alone,” she recalled.

Not long after Karina left, Hoffman allegedly emerged from the bathroom naked except for a towel, which he quickly dropped.

“I think I almost collapsed, actually. It was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do. And he milked it. He milked the fact that he was naked. He stood there. He took his time,” she recalled.

She said he then put on a robe and asked her for a foot massage as she ignored his repeated questions about whether she wanted to see his naked body.

“I didn’t know that I could say no, so I did it,” she said of the foot rub. “And he kept telling me, ‘I’m naked, do you want to see?’ What saved me was that the phone rang, and it was my mother downstairs to pick me up,” Thomas said.

The two other claims against Hoffman allege that the actor digitally penetrated women he met while working on the 1987 film Ishtar.

Melissa Kester told Variety she was dating a man who worked on the film’s music, and that she met Hoffman while visiting her boyfriend on set.

They hit it off the first few times they met, watching his performance in Death of a Salesman, and discussing possible business collaborations.

But on their third meeting, Kester said, he requested she join him in the recording booth, where he was recording a song for the film.

Kester obliged, and said Hoffman immediately grabbed her in a flirtatious manner, which made her feel “awkward,” but not alarmed, as her boyfriend was standing right outside the booth.

But then, she said, he stuck his fingers down her pants.

“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 just shocking when it happens to you,” she said, estimating that he penetrated her for 15-20 seconds before laughing it off.

“He kind of laughed. Then I just ran out of there, and I sat in the bathroom crying. I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I felt like I’d just been raped. There was no warning. I didn’t know he would do that,” she said.

She also claimed the actor called her multiple times after the incident asking to meet up before she told him to knock it off.

Hoffman’s third accuser, who opted to remain anonymous, said that she was 22 and working as an extra on Ishtar when Hoffman offered her a ride home following an on-set wrap party.

She took him up on the offer, but since his station wagon was full, was forced to ride in the back of the vehicle in close quarters to Hoffman.

She alleged he stuck his fingers up her skirt while smiling.

“There are people inches from us. 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,” she said.

She claimed that once he dropped her off, he slipped her US$20 and told her to go back to his home. She says she did, and that they had a sexual encounter she is unsure whether or not she’d label non-consensual.

Carolyn (a pseudonym) was also slipped cash by Hoffman after an uncomfortable night that involved forced oral sex, she told The Hollywood Reporter.

She told the outlet she was 21 in 1975 when Hoffman invited her for a night out after taking a tour on the Washington, DC, tour bus she was guiding.

Carolyn headed to the Watergate Hotel to see Hoffman, where he greeted her shirtless.

After a screaming match with someone over the phone, Carolyn said he began questioning her about intimate details of her life that made it seem as though he’d researched her before she arrived.

She asked to leave, to which he allegedly replied, “Go home? You don’t think you’re getting out of here without having sex, do you?” and proceeded to barricade her in the room until she agreed.

Carolyn said he gave her two options, and she chose oral sex.

Hoffman was previously slapped with three similar claims.

In October, author Anna Graham Hunter told The Hollywood Reporter Hoffman made lewd comments at her and grabbed her backside while she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of 1985’s Death of a Salesman.

She said Hoffman, then 47, asked for a foot massage just like he did with Thomas, and once told her he’d like a “soft-boiled clitoris” for breakfast.

The Kramer vs. Kramer star apologised to Hunter, and said such behaviour is “not reflective of his character.”

In November, Genius producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis told Variety Hoffman once propositioned her and made creepy come-ons like, “(Mine) would be a whole new body to explore,” during a pitch meeting in 1991.

Last week, an actress who worked with Hoffman on the Broadway production of Death of a Salesman claimed he groped and assaulted her almost nightly during the play’s run.

Though Hoffman did not respond to her claims directly, the show’s production stage manager told The Hollywood Reporter that her story “just doesn’t ring true.”

Hoffman was forced to face the music earlier this month during a tense sit-down with HBO late-night host John Oliver.

Oliver was moderating an anniversary screening of Wag the Dog with Hoffman when he called the actor’s apology to Hunter a “cop-out” and slammed him for saying his actions were not reflective of his character.