Tippi Hedren's Alfred Hitchcock Abuse Allegations — Learn More After Dakota Johnson Resurfaces Claims

Tippi Hedren, who made The Birds and Marnie with director Alfred Hitchcock, previously said he threatened to "ruin" her acting career after rebuffing his alleged sexual advances

Tippi Hedren; Alfred Hitchcock
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Tippi Hedren has previously been candid about her qualms with director Alfred Hitchcock, including abuse allegations recently resurfaced by her granddaughter Dakota Johnson.

Johnson, 32, said on The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast that Hitchcock "ruined" Hedren's career, though her grandmother was still supportive when she began pursuing an acting career of her own.

"She's always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself. That's what she did. Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn't want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her. He was never held accountable," the Fifty Shades of Grey star said.

Hedren, who is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith, worked with the director in the 1963 film The Birds as well as 1964's Marnie.

In her 2016 memoir titled Tippi, the actress, now 91, claimed she was sexually assaulted by Hitchcock (who died in 1980) several times during the making of both films. She also recalled allegedly inhumane conditions she endured (upon which Hitchcock insisted) while filming the climactic scene in the 1963 horror-thriller.

Hedren claimed Hitchcock would have his driver drive past her home and had once asked Hedren to "touch him" while they were working on The Birds. She also said he once tried to force her to kiss him in the back of a limo, writing in her book, "It was an awful, awful moment."

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Alfred Hitchcock; Tippi Hedren
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She explained that she didn't tell anyone of the assault because "sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn't exist" in the early 1960s.

The actress recalled that things escalated when she worked with the filmmaker on Marnie, writing of one instance where he showed up at her dressing room and "put his hands on me." Hedren wrote, "It was sexual, it was perverse."

According to The Guardian, actress Louise Latham, who costarred with Hedren in Marnie, contradicted Hedren's version of events while speaking with Tony Lee Moral, an author and historian who has written about Hitchcock.

Latham, who died in 2018, said in part, "I find some of the allegations hard to believe. She's a lovely woman, but I don't think Tippi should have said those things about Hitch. … I wasn't aware of her being hassled on the set. For Hitchcock to go down as this monstrous thing, to the degree that [Tippi] was vulnerable is not accurate."

Alfred Hitchcock; Tippi Hedren
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Speaking with NPR in 2016, Hedren said Hitchcock threatened her career — and followed through on his statement.

"It became such a problem for me that I demanded to get out of the contract. And he said, 'Well, you can't, you have your daughter to support and your parents are getting older.' And I said, 'They wouldn't want me in a situation in which I'm not happy,' " she recalled at the time. "And he said, 'Well, I'll ruin your career.' And he did."

"He just kept me under contract, paying me my salary, a lot of directors and producers wanted me for their film, but to get to me, they had to go through him," she explained.

She added of telling Griffith, 64, and Johnson about Hollywood, "I think they just learned from living with me. And actually, my experiences with Hollywood were really wonderful, except for that. So I'm very happy and very busy."

Dakota Johnson, Tippi Hedren, Alfred Hitchcock
Dakota Johnson, Tippi Hedren, Alfred Hitchcock. Gabe Ginsberg/Getty; Greg Doherty/Getty; Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Johnson added last week on the topic, "It's completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry. It's hard to talk about because she's my grandmother. You don't want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother."

"I think the thing that she's been so amazing for me and with my mother is just like, no you do not put up with that s--- from anybody," she continued. "She would say it in a far more eloquent way. She's such a glamorous movie star, still."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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