The wave of sexual harassment, misconduct and assault allegations that continue to rock Hollywood have begun expanding into other areas of entertainment, with top DC Comics editor Eddie Berganza suspended for ongoing allegations of sexual harassment, and further allegations emerging in the worlds of sports and music.
Aly Raisman is speaking out against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, while The CW's DC stars are responding to the allegations against executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. Marc Maron spoke out about Louis C.K., Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey responded to allegations against him, and the Danish authorities are launching an investigation into Lars von Trier's production studio.
Here's the latest:
After his son Harry Dreyfuss came forward with a story of harassment by Kevin Spacey, Richard Dreyfuss found himself facing a harassment story of his own. Television writer Jessica Teich told Vulture that the actor pulled her toward him while his penis was out in 1987 with the intention that she would perform oral sex on him.
Dreyfuss denied the story, telling Vulture, "I emphatically deny ever exposing myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for over 30 years."
He admits to flirting with her, and even trying to kiss her in what he thought was a "consensual seduction ritual that went on and on for many years." He said he is "not an assaulter," and is horrified to find out it was not consensual.
"It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual," he said.
Teich said she felt compelled to come forward after the elder Dreyfuss tweeted his support of his son for accusing Spacey of sexual assault. She said it "seemed so hypocritical," considering how he had allegedly been harassing her for months.
While Louis C.K. did admit that the allegations against him were true after a bombshell New York Times report, he initially lied to his good friend and fellow comedian Marc Maron about it.
Like many others in the industry have alleged, Maron had heard rumors for years that C.K. forced women to watch him masturbate. On Monday's edition of his podcast "WTF," Maron talked about the rumors, and what happened when he confronted C.K. about them.
"I would say, 'This story about you forcing these women to watch you jerk off, what is that, is that true?'" Maron recalled during the podcast. "[Louis C.K.] goes, 'No, it's not true. It's not real. It's a rumor.' And I would say, 'Well, are you going to address it somehow? Handle it?' ... 'No I can't, I can't do that. I can't give it life, give it air.' That was the conversation.”
According to Maron, this put him in a tough spot. "There's no place women can go to report their mistreatment, and men lack the empathy to believe them," he said.
"I want to believe women, but in this particular instance, there was no one named in that [rumor] ... I didn't know their names until Friday,” Maron said. “So I believed my friend."
"The work environment ... makes it difficult for people to come forward and be heard, to be listened to, to be believed," Maron said. "It is pushed aside, it is dismissed, it is framed as an annoyance or an embarrassment, it is used against people, it is used as a threat, that is the structure that exists in life."
It comes down to an understanding of power dynamics, according to Maron, and an appreciation for personal respect and boundaries, detailing an experience where a professor kissed him unexpectedly and forever altered their relationship. "It's hard to understand that that power dynamic is real and it exists, because things have been the way they are for a long time."
After opening up about it in her book "Fierce," in stores next week, six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman spoke to Hoda Kotb on "Today" about her experiences with Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar. Raisman joins fellow Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and other gymnasts in singling out Nassar for ongoing sexual assault in the guise of treatment.
"I want people to know I really didn't know it was happening to me. He was a doctor and he told me that his treatment would help heal all of my injuries," Raisman said of her experiences with Nassar that began when she was 15-years old. "These monsters are so good at manipulating you. You're so brainwashed to think -- I thought he was so nice."
Raisman said that she struggled for years whether to come out with her story or not, especially in today's world. "I think society sometimes makes it hard for people to come forward because you always have people that victim shame, which we have to stop that because it's awful. I wanted to do the right thing."
Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in June and faces accusations from more than 100 women during his long tenure as USA Gymnastics doctor, but has denied these charges. He still faces 22 state charges in Michigan over allegations that he sexually assaulted children. Prosecutors are seeking upwards of 27 years on the pornography charges. Convictions in the assault cases could lead to a life sentence.
"One bad chapter doesn't mean your story is over," Raisman said in conclusion, telling Kotb to look forward to seeing her in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
While the acclaimed "Nymphomaniac" director has not been named directly by any accusers, Danish authorities are investigating allegations of sexual misconduct at his film studio, Zentropa. Von Trier co-founded the studio with former CEO Peter Aalbæk Jensen, who finds himself at the center of most of most of the allegations. Jensen stepped down as CEO in 2016, but still owns a 25 percent stake in the company.
Nine different women have come forward with vastly inappropriate claims against Jensen, including groping, spanking and degrading Christmas party competitions for things such as which trainee could undress the fastest or who had the longest pubic hair.
A former employee, Anna Mette Lundtofte, told Danish paper Politiken that the environment was described to her as an "alternative work culture," but what she saw instead was "women being degraded."
Jensen said he has no recollection of any of the specific incidents cited, but said they "probably happened," adding, "There have been plenty of times when I've been over the top or gone too far. And I stand by that fully. But the question is whether you are an adored leader or not. And I am an adored leader."
Of the nine women who came forward, at least five of them have said their experiences at Zentropa have caused them to leave the film industry.
Current CEO Anders Kjærhauge has indicated that a new management policy will be developed and implemented in light of the allegations. "We will initiate a process with our employees in order to prepare a more clear vision in regards to what is “a good working place."
"Mean Girls" actor Daniel Franzese alleged via a lengthy Facebook post that actress Bijou Phillips harassed him on the set of their 2001 film "Bully." He claims that he experienced body shaming, psychological abuse about his sexuality at a time he was still closeted, and even physically assault.
The actor said he was inspired to speak out by Ellen Page coming forward with her allegations of harassment against Brett Ratner on the set of "X-Men: The Last Stand."
"Bully" was Franzese's movie, and he was playing a straight character. He alleges that Phillips kept asking if he was gay and said things like, "Oh look! The Bi guy is here," causing him to fear for his job on the film.
According to his post, Phillips shouted "gross!!!" off-script during a scene where he took his shirt off, humiliating him. The post details other instances of alleged harassment and abuse, including an instance where Phillips twisted his nipple through his shirt and kicked him in the back of the head.
Franzese detailed other instances of assault and abuse involving other members of the crew, concluding that the whole experience gave him "PTSD" and left him closeted for a long time.
Phillips responded to the allegations, admitting that she was "a teenager and reckless" in her behavior. "I don't remember that time well, those years are a blur," she told TMZ. "I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel."
Franzese posted via Twitter that he received and accepted her apology:
We've all been hurt and we've all hurt someone. I️ accept your apology on the grace you can afford the same mercy to someone else one day.
Some of the stars of DC's superhero shows on The CW have come forward in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against "Supergirl" executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. With Kreisberg also the co-creator and EP for "The Flash," "Arrow" and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," the allegations have a wide-ranging impact for the network and its flagship franchise. Kreisberg has been suspended from his duties.
"Supergirl" star Meliss Benoist came out with a passionate statement via Twitter Sunday night. "I am a woman who leads a show that supports equality and feminism, empowerment, and fighting for what is right." While she noted the challenges of maintaining these attitudes in the industry, Benoist insisted she is an optimist and that change is possible.
"When people are mistreated, they should have a safe forum to speak their truth and always be heard," she wrote, adding that those who commit crimes or harassment should be held accountable for their actions.
Emily Bett Rickards, who stars on "Arrow," also took to the social media platform with a message of her own, writing, "To the men who committed harassment, who perpetuated rape culture, who turn a 'blind eye,' and complain about reverse sexism': you are weak and complicit."
She went on to applaud the women who find the strength to speak their truths.
Jesse Lacey, frontman for rock group Brand New, came under fire Friday for allegedly soliciting naked photos from a minor. Nicole Elizabeth Garey came forward on Facebook to claim that she was asked for the photos when she was 15 years old and Lacey was 24, and further that he urged her to watch him masturbate over Skype.
Lacey took to the band's Facebook page Saturday night to apologize for his past actions, implying the allegations were true without mentioning his alleged victim or any specific incidents.
"I do not stand in defense of myself nor do I forgive myself," Lacey wrote, claiming an addiction to sex early in his life. "I was selfish, narcissistic, and insensitive in my past, and there are a number of people who have had to shoulder the burden of my failures. I apologize for the hurt I have caused, and hope to be able to take the correct actions to earn forgiveness and trust."
Through therapy and counseling, Lacey says he is seeking to "be better." To the people he has impacted through his behavior, he wrote, "I am sorry for how I have hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated. I am sorry for ignoring the way in which my position, status, and power as a member of a band affected the way people viewed me or their approach to their interactions with me. And I am sorry for how often I have not afforded women the respect, support, or honesty that they deserved, and which is their right. I believe in the equality and autonomy of all, but in my life I have been more of a detriment to these ideals than an advocate."
Garey's story came as a series of comments to a Facebook post by former Brand New guitar tech Brian K. Diaz, who claimed that Lacey had a history of sexual misconduct. That original Facebook post and its accompanying comments appear to have been removed, but Uproxx reported Garey's comments with her permission.
In her statement, Garey wrote that Lacey "demanded specific poses/setting/clothing, demeaned me, and made it clear that my sexuality was the only thing I had to offer." She claims she still has nightmares from the experience, and further wrote that she probably has screenshots of when he allegedly made her watch him masturbate via Skype.