The latest sexual harassment and misconduct scandal story has arrived, this time highlighting acting veteran and Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss and his relationship with Los Angeles writer Jessica Teich over several years.
Teich claims the harassment was constant over a 2-3 year period in the mid-1980s when she was in her mid-20s and worked as a researcher and junior writer on a TV special passion project of Dreyfuss’s. He was twelve years older and married with a child along with being her boss, famous, rich, and at the time the youngest Best Actor Oscar winner. The now 70 year old Dreyfuss then responded to her claims with a long written piece saying:
“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.
I emphatically deny ever “exposing” myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for 30 years. 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. I didn’t get it. It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual.”
Photo courtesy: Vulture