Richard Dreyfuss Denies Years of Harassment and Exposing Himself to Journalist: ‘I Flirted With All Women’

Actor Richard Dreyfuss denied exposing his genitals to L.A.-based writer Jessica Teich while the two were working together on a 1987 TV special.

Teich, whom Dreyfuss hired to write the script for the special Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville, said the actor invited her to his trailer where he allegedly exposed his penis.

“I remember walking up the steps into the trailer and turning towards my left … 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,” Teich told Vulture. “He was hard. I remember my face being brought close to his penis.”

“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,” she told the outlet, noting that Dreyfuss made several sexual advances over the years they worked together which “created a very hostile work environment, where I felt sexualized, objectified and unsafe.”

Actor Richard Dreyfuss, right, compares the profiles of director Steven Spielberg and the bust of Irving Thalberg after Spielberg was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for his work in the industry, March 30, 1987, in Los Angeles. Dreyfuss was a presenter during the ceremonies. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)

Actor Richard Dreyfuss arrives at American Film Institute’s 44th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to John Williams at Dolby Theatre on June 9, 2016 in Hollywood, California. 26148_005 (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner)

In response to Teich’s allegations, Dreyfuss “emphatically” denied assaulting his former co-worker and said he never exposed himself to her. The Academy Award-winner, did, however, say he “became an asshole” in the late 1970s, “flirted with all the women,” and admitted that he “was swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs.”

“I emphatically deny ever ‘exposing’ myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for 30 years,” Dreyfuss said. “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.”

“I am horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual,” he continued. “I didn’t get it. It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual.”

Dreyfuss added:

At the height of my fame in the late 1970s I became an asshole–the kind of performative masculine man my father had modeled for me to be. I lived by the motto, “If you don’t flirt, you die.” And flirt I did. I flirted with all women, be they actresses, producers, or 80-year-old grandmothers. I even flirted with those who were out of bounds, like the wives of some of my best friends, which especially revolts me. I disrespected myself, and I disrespected them, and ignored my own ethics, which I regret more deeply than I can express. During those years I was swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs – which are not excuses, just truths. Since then I have had to redefine what it means to be a man, and an ethical man. I think every man on Earth has or will have to grapple with this question. But I am not an assaulter.

Teich, however, was floored by Dreyfuss’ denial.

“I respect that he’s trying to grapple with it, and I regret that he’s not being totally honest. Sadly, what I regret even more is I’ll never forget the sight of his penis because I was so surprised to see it there,” she told Vulture. “The fact that he can’t quite acknowledge all of it is understandable. But he certainly acknowledges that something happened, and he certainly acknowledges that it might have been inappropriate now that he looks back on it.”

The writer said she was prompted to come forward with her story after Dreyfuss defended his son, Harry Dreyfuss, who alleged last week that he was molested and groped by actor Kevin Spacey.

Richard Dreyfuss is the latest major Hollywood figure accused of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, including Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., and Brett Ratner.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson


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