7:00am PT by Chris Gardner
Andy Dick Keeps on Licking: "It's Just His Thing"
Editors at weekly German newsmagazine Der Spiegel hatched a plan to cover Hollywood's harassment story in a cover package scheduled for publication Feb. 24. Senior U.S. correspondent Philipp Oehmke, who runs the outlet's New York office, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the 5,000-word story is meant to serve as an update on how Hollywood has responded in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and what the culture is currently like in town heading into the March 4 Oscar ceremony.
To do so, Oehmke and his assistant reached out to an estimated 80-plus men who have been accused of sexual misconduct along with industry professionals (agents, lawyers, managers, publicists, etc.). "We asked them if they wanted to give statements, fight the allegations or give their side of the story," Oehmke says. "We got maybe 10, 20 people who declined, but most did not respond at all." Basically a "black hole," he adds.
Except for one man, who responded with two words: "Sounds good."
That man: Andy Dick, who, as first reported by THR, was fired from two independent films amid allegations that he sexually harassed multiple people on both sets, including claims of groping and licking. "He gave my assistant his cell phone number and agreed to meet as if we were talking about something nice."
Turns out, the process to actually score the sit-down was a bit more complicated. Dick canceled the first interview — a dinner meeting to be held at upscale Melrose Avenue restaurant Lucques, Dick's first choice — because he wasn't feeling well. They rescheduled, and Dick invited Oehmke, his photographer and an assistant to his Woodland Hills home, where they were greeted by a full house, including Dick's ex-wife, her new boyfriend (and Dick's now-best friend), multiple children and their significant others, and cats and dogs.
Oehmke did get Dick to sit for a two-hour interview including a photo shoot despite the emotional roller coaster that ensued. "He was super-friendly but very anxious," Oehmke explains. "He wouldn't stay on topic and got really emotional and cried many times, then would be funny and laughing the next moment. His mood swings were all over the place. It was complicated."
But Dick did send a clear message with his photo shoot, sticking his middle finger to the camera as a way of responding to the allegations made against him. And then, perhaps to prove a point, when Oehmke and his crew made their exit, Dick hugged the photographer's male assistant good-bye and licked his face, according to Oehmke. "It's just his thing," he says. "He’s a very intense and affectionate character, hugely entertaining company, although being with him for longer than two hours might jangle your nerves a little bit."
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.