Jeffrey Tambor isn’t going to be able to brush off this claim.
As you surely saw, earlier this month, the Transparent actor became the subject of an internal investigation at Amazon after his former assistant, Van Barnes, accused the industry vet of sexual harassment. At the time, Tambor downplayed the controversy by calling the accusations “baseless” and labeled Barnes as a “disgruntled” ex-employee.
Well, it seems Van isn’t the only one who has had an issue with Jeffrey’s behavior as one of his Transparent costars has since accused him of misconduct. Actress Trace Lysette, who plays Shea on the Amazon TV series, has come forward with claims that Tambor made lewd and sexually suggestive remarks to her on several occasions. In addition to the unwelcome comments, Trace says Jeffrey once pressed up against her during a break in filming in a “sexually aggressive manner”
Specifically, while filming a scene which required Trace to don a salmon-colored lingerie top and matching short-shorts, the celebrated performer remarked:
“My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually.”
Ugh. Actress Alexandra Billings, who was filming the scene with Trace and Jeffrey, confirms she heard the comment. Per Lysette, both “laughed it off because it was so absurd.” The situation only escalated as, only a few minutes later, Tambor approached Trace with seemingly predatory intentions. She recalled:
“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 back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas.”
Ew. Ew. EW. Sadly, no one was present to witness this exchange as Billings was not there and the crew was busy focusing on their jobs. Trace explained:
“It was discreet. If you were behind Jeffrey you might have thought he was giving me a hug.”
SMH. Not to mention, Lysette witnessed the harassment Tambor put Barnes through as she previously shared a house with the Hollywood assistant:
“She would pick him up in the morning and bring him home at night and everything in between. She would come home wrecked and stressed. I saw him break her down. She for the most part kept it to herself. She was just like, ‘Girl, he is a piece of work. If you only knew what I’m going through.’ But I knew.”
Lysette saw warnings signs about Jeffrey’s true nature as he’d often kiss her on the lips when she’d try for the cheek or would make an unusual remark about his desires for her. Apparently, after Trace thanked Tambor for arranging a meeting with his manager, he responded:
“…and he said, ‘Well, yeah Trace. I really believe in you. And you know what? I don’t even want to have sex with you.’ And then he just looked at me as if he very much indeed wanted to have sex with me. It was an up-and-down look. I rolled my eyes and went to my trailer and thought, ‘This man is something else.'”
While the 73-year-old acknowledges that he hasn’t “always been the easiest person to work with,” he defends that he is in no way a “predator.” The Arrested Development veteran noted in a statement:
“For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ and huge responsibility ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly… I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ ever.”
Hmmmm, we’re not sure we’re buying that. He continued:
“I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.”
Although Lysette has yet to make an official complaint to Amazon, she has advised the company and the show’s creator Jill Soloway to “remove the problem and let the show go on.” It’s said Amazon plans to add this latest accusation to their already existing investigation against Jeffrey.
We have a feeling the Emmy winner will be written out of Transparent as some reports state the series was already considering writing out the Maura Pfefferman character. Whoa.
As always, be sure to check back for any and all updates about this matter.
[Image via Brian To/Dave Bedrosian/Future Image/WENN.]