Star on sex claims: ‘Lines got blurred’
SACKED Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor has broken his silence over sexual harassment claims which led to his firing from the hit TV show, Transparent.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Tambor strongly denied accusations of inappropriate touching and sexual propositions towards his former assistant Van Barnes and Transparent actress Trace Lysette. Both women identify as transgender.
Tambor admitted to the Hollywood Reporter that he had an "explosive temper" and would sometimes act in a belligerent and tactless manner towards the cast and crew, including show creator Jill Soloway, who he says was scared of him.
"Lines got blurred," Tambor told the publication. "I was difficult, I was mean ... I was rude to my assistant. I was moody. Sometimes I didn't talk at all."
Tambor says his behaviour stemmed from worry that he would fall short in his portrayal of a transgender woman the show. But he denies the sexual misconduct claims that led to his firing.
Tambor revealed that on one occasion, he yelled at Transparent executive producer Bridget Bedard on set and made her cry, for which he later apologised.
Barnes recalled recently on US TV that Tambor had told her he had watched her sleep naked.
"That's so violating, it's so creepy," Barnes told said in an interview on Megyn Kelly Today.
Actress Trace Lysette claimed that Tambor got "physical" with her on set and at red carpet events, including kissing her on the lips, and one time pushed his penis against her.
Lysette, who played Shea on the show, recalled a time during shooting when Tambor looked at her dressed in short pajama bottoms and told her, "My God, Trace, I want to attack you sexually."
She also recalled the actor pushing himself against her. "I felt his genitals on me," Lysette told The Hollywood Reporter, "and I pushed him off."
Regarding Barnes' accusations, Tambor said: "I dispute her account," he said. "I did raise my voice at times, I was moody at times, there were times when I was tactless. But as for the other stuff, absolutely not."
Barnes later quit her job.
Amazon, who produced the show, launched an investigation into the actor's conduct late last year, which culminated in his sacking from the show in February. Tambor said he found out about his firing when creator Jill Soloway texted him.
Tambor said he was "profoundly disappointed" in the "deeply flawed and biased" investigation.
Tambor played transgender woman Maura Pfefferman to widespread acclaim on the show, which also stars Judith Light and Gaby Hoffman.
Transparent is expected to return for its fifth and final season, without Tambor.
Meanwhile, Netflix announced the actor will appear in the next season of Arrested Development.