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Jane Seymour has revealed how she was sexually harassed by “the most powerful man in Hollywood” when she was a young actress. It led to her quitting acting for a year.
Speaking to Australian breakfast show Sunrise 7, Seymour, most famous for her leading role on CBS’ Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, recounted how, as a young actress freshly arrived in Hollywood from Britain, she was asked to screen test for a role and then go to an unnamed producer’s house to discuss the test and the script.
“I went to the house expecting to see other people there. There was no one there. He showed me the screen test I’d done, and then he sat down next to me and he said, ‘Well, I’ve told everyone you’re perfect for my movie, and I can’t wait. You’re just perfect.’ ”
Seymour continued: “He said, ‘I’ve done my bit and now it’s your turn to do your bit.’ And I looked at him very innocently and said, ‘Oh, yes, I’ll do a great screen test for you in a day and a half.’ “
“And he said, ‘No, no, you know what you have to do.’ And I’m going, ‘No, I don’t.’ And he put his hand on my thigh, way up high. And being very British, I crossed my legs and scooted down the couch until I had no couch left. I had no option but to stand up and say, ‘Please help me get home.’ ”
Seymour then left the producer’s house, but not before he told her to keep the incident secret.
“I was waiting there in the foyer with a man who’d made it clear he was expecting me to do whatever, and he basically threatened me. He was the most powerful man in Hollywood at the time, and he said, ‘If you ever tell anyone that this happened or that you were even here in my house….’ I said, ‘People know, everyone knows I”m here.’ “
She added that the producer gave her the “old, You’ll never work in this town again” line, which scared her into silence and almost put an end to her acting ambitions. “He had that power. In fact, it stopped me from being an actress for a whole year, and I could have quit the profession completely. Shows you how devastating it was to me.”
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