Richard Dreyfuss is the latest actor to face and at least partially corroborate allegations of sexual harassment, after writer Jessica Teich accused the Jaws actor of exposing his penis to her without consent. Teich recounted what she described as “a very hostile work environment” during a particularly graphic account chronicled by Jada Yuan for New York magazine’s site Vulture.
“I remember walking up the steps into the trailer and turning towards my left,” Teich, said. “And he was at the back of the trailer, and just — his penis was out, and he sort of tried to draw me close to it. I can’t remember how my face got close to his penis, but I do remember that the idea was that I was going to give him a blow job. I didn’t, and I left.”
Teich says the incident happened in the mid-’80s during the filming of the ABC special Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville. The timeline would coincide with Dreyfuss’ peak, as he was featured in Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Stand by Me after blockbuster roles in 1975’s Jaws and an Oscar-winning performance for 1978’s The Goodbye Girl.
Dreyfuss made news last week when he tweeted support for his son, Harry, who is one of over a dozen men leveling similar claims of sexual harassment and/or assault against actor Kevin Spacey. Harry Dreyfuss told Buzzfeed Spacey grabbed his crotch when he was 18. Based on a response by the elder Dreyfuss, it appears he partook in the same type of predatory behavior Spacey allegedly did with the rumored assault of his son.
“I did flirt with her, and I remember trying to kiss Jessica as part of what I thought was a consensual seduction ritual that went on and on for many years,” Dreyfuss told Vulture. “I am horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual. I didn’t get it. It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual.”
Dreyfuss also attributed his behavior, at least in part, to being “swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs” during the full response he provided to Vulture. He said he hoped his admission was the “beginning of a larger conversation we can have as a culture.” Given that Teich’s assault allegations were sparked by Dreyfuss’ response to his own son possibly being assaulted, it would seem that larger conversation is being had in a very public setting with real consequences.
You can read Jessica Teich’s full account at Vulture.