Writer/producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis says actor propositioned her in 1991
Veteran actor Dustin Hoffman is the subject of a second sexual harassment allegation.
Earlier this week, Hoffman apologised after being accused of groping a teenage intern in 1985. Responding to the claims, Hoffman said that he was “sorry” and described the alleged incident as “not reflective of who I am”.
Writer and producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis has now come forward to claim that Hoffman propositioned her during a pitch meeting in 1991. She told Variety that she met with Hoffman and Tootsie screenwriter Murray Schisgal to discuss adapting her play A Darker Purpose into a movie. Riss Gatsiounis – who was in her 20s at the time – alleges that during the meeting Hoffman asked whether she had ever had sex with a man over 40, saying that “it would be a whole new body to explore”.
Declining Hoffman’s advances, Riss Gatsiounis says the incident left her “completely flustered” and “close to tears” and claims that Schisgal later told her that Hoffman wasn’t interested in working with her. “The whole thing was just a source of torment for me. I was just this writer and he had been my hero, and it stayed with me for a long time,” she said.
Schisgal has responded to the claims in a statement, telling Variety: “Dustin Hoffman and I took many meetings with writers and playwrights over many years. I have no recollection of this meeting or of any of the behavior or actions described.”
A spokesperson for Hoffman has declined to comment on these latest allegations.
Hoffman was previously accused of harassing writer Anna Graham Hunter, then 17, on the set of TV movie Death of a Salesman in 1985. Writing in The Hollywood Reporter, Hunter – who was interning as a production assistant at the time – said that Hoffman “was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me”.
Hoffman responded with an apology, saying: “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.”