Fame and celebrity

Richard Dreyfuss denies harassing Los Angeles writer days after his son revealed he was assaulted by Kevin Spacey

Jessica Teich said in the mid-1980s, while working on a television show, the actor “harassed me for months” and even exposed himself to her

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 10:45pm

After supporting his son’s groping allegation against Kevin Spacey, Richard Dreyfuss was hit with accusations about his own behaviour on Friday.

Six days ago, Dreyfuss’ son Harry said when he was 18 when Spacey groped his crotch while they were at the actor’s flat rehearsing lines. Harry said Spacey knew “that I wouldn’t say a word. He knew I wouldn’t have had the guts. And I didn’t”.

Dreyfuss tweeted out support for his son after the news broke: “I love my son [Harry] more than I could explain with all the words in the world. And I am so incredibly proud of him right now.”

Los Angeles-based writer Jessica Teich now says she watched that fallout from afar, growing increasingly “bothered” given her own experiences with Richard Dreyfuss.

She told Vulture that in the mid-1980s, when she worked as a researcher and junior writer on a television show called Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville, the actor “harassed me for months”, and even exposed himself to her.

Teich was hired while she was in her mid-20s and fresh out of graduate school. Dreyfuss was 12 years older, married with a child. One day, she was summoned to his trailer for a script meeting.

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“I remember walking up the steps into the trailer and turning towards my left,” Teich said. “And he was at the back of the trailer, and just – his penis was out, and he sort of tried to draw me close to it.”

Dreyfuss never asked for her to touch him, she says, but he was erect.

“I can’t remember how my face got close to his penis, but I do remember that the idea was that I was going to give him [oral sex]. I didn’t, and I left.”

Teich says the actor’s behaviour remained overtly sexual over their years working together, including moments when Dreyfuss tried to kiss her in professional settings and slipped love notes to her in meetings.

“He has that way of sidling up to you and saying things like, ‘I want to [sleep with] you’,” Teich said. “That was said all the time.”

In a statement to Vulture, Dreyfuss “emphatically” denied exposing himself to Teich, but admitted that “at the height of my fame in the late 1970s I became an a***hole – the kind of performative masculine man my father had modelled for me to be. I lived by the motto, ‘if you don’t flirt, you die’. And flirt I did … But I am not an assaulter.”

He continued: “I emphatically deny ever ‘exposing’ myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for 30 years. I did flirt with her, and I remember trying to kiss Jessica as part of what I thought was a consensual seduction ritual that went on and on for many years. I am horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual. I didn’t get it. It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual.”