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‘CSI’ Casting Agent Fired In ’08 for Manipulating Actresses Into Undressing

CSI CBS
CBS

After being accused of coercing wannabe actresses into undressing, casting agent Andy Henry was fired from the long-running TV show CSI in 2008. The allegations also include an incident in which Henry touched a woman’s breasts.

Nevertheless, Henry would go on to work for big films such as The Amazing Spider-Man and Elysium. Now that the allegations have resurfaced, his current employer, who claims to have been unaware of the CSI incidents, has placed him on a leave of absence — which is corporate-speak for “suspension.”

In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Henry does not deny his behavior. Instead, he claims it was a “foolish and foolhardy … coaching technique.” As far as the inappropriate touching allegation, Henry writes, “I was not aware of the allegations of fondling until now, and do not believe or recall that such a thing happened.”

Henry also claims that the CSI scandal cost him his marriage and put him into bankruptcy. “I was punished for my actions, but I have spent the last nine years rebuilding myself into a person who could never do such a thoughtless and careless thing again,” he writes, adding, “I have formally converted to Judaism, I have dedicated my life to the service of God and to trying to make some repair in this world.”

The five women THR spoke to all share a similar story. Henry taught at paid workshops around Los Angeles, where, for a fee, an aspiring actress could audition for a legitimate casting agent. This in and of itself is already suspect, a scheme that is widely seen as a different kind of exploitation, a way to make easy money off of desperate actors and actresses eager for any kind of break. In my opinion, these workshops are reprehensible, and, thankfully, there has been a recent crackdown against these scams.

After taking their $45 fee, Henry would then flatter certain actresses and offer them some one-on-one coaching. According to one actress, his pitch was, “It’s a really challenging scene and I can tell you can handle it, but it definitely requires more work than what we do here. Do you have any time to stay afterward to push a little harder?”

Once alone, and after going over the scene several times, Henry would suggest that in order to achieve the necessary “vulnerability,” the women should disrobe. He “incrementally asked me to take my clothes off,” one actress said, and in order to “just to get done,” she found herself wearing nothing but her “underwear and Doc Marten combat boots.”

It was only through the #MeToo campaign that the five women found each other. Mandy June Turpin, who claims Henry touched her breasts at one of these sessions, told THR, “I thought, ‘Thank God, somebody said something.’ You’re afraid to speak up. You’re someone without credits. And he went on to work again in the business anyway.”

As someone who has sat in casting sessions and watched a parade of eager and vulnerable women (of all ages) trudge through a demoralizing process in search of that one break, in pursuit of a dream that comes true for so few, just the thought of some degenerate exploiting and manipulating them in this way is beyond the comprehension of any decent person.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

 

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