Goldie Hawn Remembers the Casting-Couch Sexual Predator Who Left Her in Tears at 19

"I was 19. I went up for the 'meet,' and it was so scary," Hawn tells PEOPLE in the latest cover story

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Goldie Hawn‘s rise to fame wasn’t always pretty.

The Snatched actress opens up in PEOPLE’s latest cover story about the time famed cartoonist Al Capp came on to her in an infamous “casting couch” moment. After running into a casting agent on the streets of New York, the young actress met with Capp for what she thought was an audition.

“I was 19. I went up for the ‘meet,’ and it was so scary,” Hawn tells PEOPLE Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle. “He took off his business clothes and came in in, like, a dressing gown. I got the picture, and I thought, ‘I’m in trouble. Where’s the door?’ ”

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Hawn recalls how she was briefly put at ease when Capp gave her a constructive acting note she thought to be true, but his real intentions soon became obvious as she sat down next to him.

“I went, ‘Wait a minute. He knows what he’s talking about,’ ” she remembers. “I said, ‘Okay, so I’ll do it, like, more quiet, more real.’ Then he wanted me to show my legs, and I said, ‘You know, Mr. Capp, I don’t know. I don’t think so,’ and then I sat down and he wanted me to give him a kiss, and I went, ‘I don’t do this. I’m sorry.’ ”

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Hawn, who first revealed the story long after she became a star, says the late Lil’ Abner cartoonist became angry and told her she’s “never gonna make anything in your life” and to go home and marry a dentist.

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“I was crying and I didn’t have any money to go back to the [1964 New York] World’s Fair, where I was dancing, and so he threw me $20 for a taxicab,” she adds. “It wasn’t a good day.”

Years later, Hawn wrote Capp a note after she was cast on Laugh-In in 1968 and won an Oscar for 1969’s Cactus Flower, thanking him for not casting her on the show, saying, “I didn’t have to go marry a Jewish dentist.” Capp died in 1979 at the age of 70.

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