More women accuse Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct
(LOS ANGELES) —
Three more women have come forward to accuse Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct in an article published by Variety on Thursday.
One, Cori Thomas, alleges that the actor exposed himself to her in a hotel room while she was a 16-year-old high school student; another, Melissa Kester, claims that Hoffman assaulted her while recording audio for the movie Ishtar; a third woman, who declined to be named, claims that Hoffman assaulted her and, according to the magazine, “manipulated her into a subsequent sexual encounter that left her compromised.”
Hoffman did not comment for the Variety story, but the magazine notes that the actor’s attorney sent a letter to Variety‘s owner, Penske Media Corp., calling the accusations “defamatory falsehoods.”
In November two women accused Hoffman of sexual harassment in separate articles in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
At the time the actor issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying, “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.”
In a statement to ABC News, Melissa Kester confirms the details of the Variety article and says she hadn’t planned to speak out, but after she reached out to Anna Graham Hunter, one of the women who’d accused Hoffman in November, she changed her mind.
“She told me how others had done the same, and revealed their stories,” Kester says in her statement. “Anna told me about the others’ pain, the terrible impact the abuse had on their lives, all without revealing their names or specifics. Somehow I felt more upset about what had happened to them, than what happened to me.”
“It became clear that without my going public the reporter would be unable to publish their stories,” she continues. “They needed two women on the record. Cori Thomas had already stepped up and now it was my turn.”
Kester notes, “It was my teenage daughter who gave me the last shot of courage – ‘Mom, you have to do it for the sisterhood.’ So I did.”
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