Dustin Hoffman, already under withering fire for allegations of past sexual harassment, was accused of nightly groping an actress who co-starred with him in Death of a Salesman in 1983-84.
Kathryn Rossetter published a lengthy guest column Friday in The Hollywood Reporter describing what she called “a horrific, demoralizing and abusive experience” at the hands of her acting idol, Hoffman, 80.
Now in her 60s, Rossetter paints a disturbing portrait of the Oscar-winner, describing him as a great and generous actor who helped give her a career. But he’s also a man who manipulates, abuses his power and is generally “a pig to women,” she writes, adding, “They are not mutually exclusive.”
“My issue isn’t what he said, it’s what he did,” she wrote. “Along with the nightly sexual harassment, he eroded my confidence, my dignity. He humiliated and demeaned me. He robbed me of my joy in the experience and he left dirty fingerprints on my soul.”
Hoffman’s representatives did not respond to calls for comment from USA TODAY.
Rossetter was an aspiring actress in New York when she read for the part of the mistress of Willy Loman in Salesman and Hoffman enthusiastically pushed for her to get the role.
She considered Hoffman her hero — until, she says, he started assaulting her every night in the wings off stage. Wearing only a vintage slip and stockings, she was supposed to laugh at a microphone on cue as a memory scene played out on stage. Hoffman sat in a chair behind her.
“One night in Chicago, I felt his hand up under my slip on the inside of my thighs. I was completely surprised and tried to bat him away while watching the stage for my cues,” Rossetter wrote. “It then happened almost every show. Six to eight shows a week. I couldn’t speak to him in the moment because I was on a live mic. He kept it up and got more and more aggressive. One night he actually started to stick his fingers inside me. Night after night I went home and cried.”