Actor Richard Dreyfuss has denied exposing himself to a woman writer in the 1980s, but admitted that some of his past behaviour “revolts” him.
His agent Barry McPherson provided a statement to Vulture.com in which the actor said he never exposed himself to Jessica Teich but acknowledged other encounters which he now says were inappropriate.
Teich, a writer for a TV comedy on which Dreyfuss worked in 1987, told Vulture the actor made continual, overt and lewd comments and invitations after they met at a theatre where she worked.
Teich said she was working for Dreyfuss writing the script for an ABC show when was summoned to his trailer on the set of one of his films and he exposed his genitals to her.
Dreyfuss, 70, said he thought the encounter was a “consensual seduction ritual”, telling Vulture he flirted with Teich but was now “horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual”.
Vulture reported Dreyfuss as saying: “I emphatically deny ever ‘exposing’ myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for 30 years.
“I did flirt with her, and I remember trying to kiss Jessica as part of what I thought was a consensual seduction ritual that went on and on for many years. I am horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual.”
Teich said she made the decision to go public after Dreyfuss tweeted support for his son, after Harry Dreyfuss accused Kevin Spacey a week ago of groping his crotch when he was 18.
On the other encounters, the Jaws star told the website: “At the height of my fame in the late 1970s I became an asshole – the kind of performative masculine man my father had modelled for me to be.
“I lived by the motto, ‘If you don’t flirt, you die’. And flirt I did. I flirted with all women, be they actresses, producers, or 80-year-old grandmothers. I even flirted with those who were out of bounds, like the wives of some of my best friends, which especially revolts me.
“I disrespected myself, and I disrespected them, and ignored my own ethics, which I regret more deeply than I can express.
“During those years I was swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs – which are not excuses, just truths. I think every man on Earth has or will have to grapple with this question. But I am not an assaulter.”
Dreyfuss, who appeared in some of the biggest films of the 1970s including Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and won Oscars for The Goodbye Girl and Mr Holland’s Opus, is the latest to be caught up in Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal.
Earlier on Saturday, Star Trek actor George Takei denied a former male model’s claim he was groped by the celebrity more than 35 years ago.
Actress Ellen Page claimed she was publicly outed at the age of 18 by film director Brett Ratner on the set of an X-Men movie.