2nd Harassment Claim May Doom Tambor's Role on Transparent

Transgender actress Trace Lysette complains to Amazon studio
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2017 7:05 AM CST

Jeffrey Tambor's future as the star of Transparent is getting shakier as Amazon studio officials look into a second claim of sexual harassment against him. In the latest case, transgender actress Trace Lysette accuses Tambor, who plays a transgender woman in the series, of lewd remarks and sexually suggestive actions, reports Deadline. The 73-year-old Tambor denies it, acknowledging in a statement that he can be "volatile and ill-tempered" and saying he is "deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive." But, he adds, "I have never been a predator." An Amazon spokesperson says the allegations will be added to the investigation into Tambor that began when his former assistant, transgender woman Van Barnes, also accused him of sexual harassment. Tambor "adamantly and vehemently" denied those first allegations.

Lysette (who plays Shea) says Tambor made a series of escalating remarks to her on the set, including, "My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually," once when she emerged from her dressing room, per the Hollywood Reporter. Lysette says she and another actress laughed it off as a joke, but not so a subsequent incident a few minutes later, when Tambor was dressed as Maura Pfefferman. "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 thrust[s] back and forth against my body," says Lysette. "I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas." The show is currently not in production, and Deadline reports that tentative discussions are underway regarding how to potentially drop Maura from season 5. (More Jeffrey Tambor stories.)

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