Three Dustin Hoffman Accusers Speak Out About Alleged Sexual Abuse in Tearful Joint Interview
On Monday, Anna Graham Hunter, Cori Thomas and Kathryn Rossetter spoke candidly to NBC Nightly News' Cynthia McFadden about their experiences with Dustin Hoffman.
Three of the five women who have accused acclaimed actor Dustin Hoffman of inappropriate sexual behavior united for their first television interview on Monday.
Anna Graham Hunter, Cori Thomas and Kathryn Rossetter spoke candidly to NBC Nightly News‘ Cynthia McFadden about their alleged experiences with the two-time Oscar winner, some of which occurred when they were just teenagers.
Hunter, the first to go on the record about Hoffman’s alleged abuse in a column for The Hollywood Reporter in November, told McFadden that she was just 17 when she was working as a production assistant on the set of the 1985 Death of a Salesman TV film. There, she claims Hoffmann grabbed her bottom, persuaded her to give him foot rubs and once gave her “a sexually vulgar and offensive breakfast order.”
“He just stared at me and everyone burst out laughing,” she said. “I backed out and went to the bathroom and cried.”
Thomas, friend of Hoffman’s daughter Karina, said that Hoffman exposed himself to her when she was in high school — claims she first made to Variety on Dec. 14. Now a playwright, Thomas said the alleged incident between her and Hoffman took place in 1980 in New York City when she was 16 after Hoffman had taken her and his daughter out for dinner.
“It was probably one of the greatest days of my life,” she recalled. Until, that is, she claimed she was left alone with Hoffman while she waited for her mother to pick her up. That’s when he allegedly took a shower and emerged in a towel, which he dropped.
“I just froze. I’d never seen a man naked in my life, at that point. I was kind of an awkward young girl, I had never kissed anyone,” she recalled, claiming Hoffman got on the bed and asked for a foot massage. “He was being suggestive. He kept saying, ‘You know I’m naked.’ ”
Rossetter, who starred alongside Hoffman in a 1983 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman, recounted the claims she made again Hoffman to The Hollywood Reporter on Dec. 8. As she told McFadden, Hoffmann would allegedly fondle her every night backstage before one of her biggest scenes. One night, she claimed he actually tried to penetrate her with his fingers.
“It eroded my self-confidence and my dignity,” Rossetter said. “It was humiliating and demeaning… He robbed me of the joy of that experience.”
“People go, ‘How is it to work with Dustin?’ And I tell the half-truth, which is, as an actor working with him, I owe him everything. I learned so much. And then I would stop and there would always be a knot in my stomach about what the real truth was, which is he was abusive and he was a bully,” she added, tearing up.
As to why she never said anything, Rossetter said she felt she wouldn’t be supported. “I was told to suck it up,” she claimed. “He was the most famous actor in the world, it was the top of his career. I was a nobody. Nobody was going to believe me.”
Hoffman declined to comment to NBC about Monday’s story, but previously apologized to Hunter — telling The Hollywood Reporter, “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.”
His lawyer, attorney Mark A. Neubauer, has called Thomas’ claims as well as assault allegations made by Melissa Kester and assault allegations made by a fifth, unnamed woman, “defamatory falsehoods.”
As for Rossetter’s claims, Hoffman’s representatives declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter.