Three of Dustin Hoffman’s five harassment accusers—women bound by harrowing experiences with one of the most famous actors of his generation—spoke to NBC Nightly News on Monday night about going public with their allegations.
Anna Graham Hunter, Kathryn Rossetter, and Cori Thomas were interviewed by Cynthia McFadden about their experiences with the 80-year-old actor. All three are accusing Hoffman of sexually harassing them in the 1980s, when Hoffman was in his 40s and already a major Hollywood movie star. While their encounters differ in detail, from indecent exposure to degrading sexual comments, all three say Hoffman pressured them into giving him a massage, either at work or in his hotel room.
Thomas—who has accused Hoffman of exposing himself to her in his hotel room in 1980, when she was 16 years old and a high school friend of his daughter—told McFadden that she “wanted to choose truth over shame.” Thomas recently told Variety that she kept the incident a secret from Hoffman’s daughter for many years because she “didn’t want to embarrass her.”
Anna Hunter was an 17-year-old intern on the set of the Death of a Salesman TV movie, where Hoffman allegedly harassed, groped, and mocked her, requesting intimate parts of her body for meals. “I didn’t have this language then, but in my gut, I knew that my status had instantly been lowered,” she told NBC News.
Kathryn Rossetter has also made accusations regarding Hoffman’s behavior during Death of a Salesman, accusing her costar of groping her while she stood side-stage, on-mic and unable to protest. Rossetter, who got her big break opposite Hoffman in the Broadway and TV movie versions of the play, held back tears as she described her complex relationship with Hoffman.
“I’ve been lying for 34 years. 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.”
“He was the most famous actor in the world… I was a nobody,” said Rossetter. “Nobody was going to believe me.”
Hoffman has not responded to the majority of the allegations against him, though he said in a response to Hunter’s account in the Hollywood Reporter that he felt terrible that anything he might have done had made her uncomfortable.