Three women accusing Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct spoke out against the actor Monday night, claiming they went from idolizing the Oscar-winning star to feeling ashamed by his actions.
Cori Thomas, Kathryn Rossetter and Anna Graham Hunter spoke to “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” to share their experiences with Hoffman, 80, who stands accused of sexual assault and/or harassment by eight different women.
Thomas was just 16 when Hoffman allegedly exposed himself to her in a New York City hotel room and requested a massage after a day spent roaming the city with her and his daughter, Karina, one of Thomas’ friends from school.
“When I met him, it was a really weird thing, because not only is this an idol, but it’s also my friend’s dad, and I think that ended up superseding the idol part, because he was just very dad-like with her and with me,” Thomas told NBC’s Cynthia McFadden.
“I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t. I was a polite girl,” she said of indulging the actor’s request for a massage. “As hard as it is, I think I wanted to choose truth over shame.”
Thomas first went public with her accusation last week to The Hollywood Reporter. Hoffman’s lawyers slammed her claims as “defamatory falsehoods.”
Cori Thomas, Kathryn Rossetter and Anna Graham Hunter appeared on NBC News to speak about their accusations against Dustin Hoffman.
Kathryn Rossetter meanwhile, worked with Hoffman on the 1980 Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman,” and claims her stage partner repeatedly groped her backstage.
“People go, how was it to work with Dustin? And I tell the half-truth, which is, as an actor, working with him, I owe him everything,” she told NBC with tears in her eyes. “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 a bully.”
Rossetter said he once tried to penetrate her with his fingers after placing his hand on her thigh, and that she was advised to just suck it up, as he was one of the most famous stars in the world.
“It eroded my self-confidence and my dignity. It was humiliating and demeaning…he robbed me of the joy of that experience,” she said, adding that she doesn’t think people should feel sorry for him.
The actress later worked with Hoffman again on the 1985 TV movie version of “Death of a Salesman” — the same set in which Anna Graham Hunter says Hoffman made crass comments to her, groped her and repeatedly requested foot rubs when she was a 17-year-old intern.
Hoffman has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by eight different women.
(Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
“I didn’t have this language then, but in my gut, I knew that my status had instantly been lowered, like I was going to be the person sitting at his feet giving him a foot rub,” she recalled. “I wasn’t just the person invited to his little party for my sparkling personality.”
Hunter first came forward with her allegations in a Hollywood Reporter guest column in October.
Though NBC said Hoffman declined to comment on the accuser’s latest claims, Hoffman did apologize to Hunter when she first went public.
In a statement, he apologized to the actress and said such behavior is “not reflective of my character.”