Jeffrey Tambor has denied sexual harassment allegations made by his Transparent costar Trace Lysette — stating that he is “not a predator.”
“For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility – of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly,” Tambor, 73, tells Us Weekly in a statement. “I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator – ever.”
“I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone,” he continues. “But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.”
The Emmy winner’s remarks comes days after Lysette accused him of acting “inappropriate.”
“Jeffrey has made many sexual advances and comments at me, but one time it got physical,” she claimed in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me. He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me. Again, I laughed it off and rolled my eyes. I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show.”
Lysette plays a yoga teacher on the series. Amazon says that the “information will be added to our ongoing conversation.”
GLAAD has released a statement in support of Lysette on Friday, writing, “Trace Lysette is a gifted actress and a trailblazer for the inclusion of transgender women in Hollywood. For too long transgender women have been forced to hide stories of harassment and abuse in the workplace, and Trace has taken a powerful stand in calling for an industry where all women can work in safe environments. The show Transparent is bigger than one person and is home to some of the most talented trans people in Hollywood – both in front of the camera and behind. GLAAD stands with Trace in her hope that the inappropriate situations she and others endured on set will be remedied, and that future seasons will focus on more of the many brilliant characters that audiences love and care about.”
As previously reported, Tambor’s former assistant, a transgender woman named Van Barnes, accused him of inappropriate behavior in a private Facebook post earlier this month. Tambor also denied those claims.
“I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her,” he said in a statement to Deadline. “I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation.”
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