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'Transparent' Actress Trace Lysette Accuses Jeffrey Tambor of Sexual Harassment, He Responds

'Transparent' Actress Trace Lysette Accuses Jeffrey Tambor of Sexual Harassment, He Responds

Trace Lysette is speaking out to accuse her Transparent co-star Jeffrey Tambor of sexual harassment on the set of the Emmy-winning Amazon series.

The actress, who is transgender, says that when she emerged on set in a revealing costume, Tambor said, “My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually.” Minutes later while the camera was being set up, she says that Tambor, dressed as his character Maura, approached her.

“He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrust back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas,” Lysette told THR.

Trace says the moment was discreet and anyone who might have saw it happen probably thought he was giving her a hug.

Jeffrey has previously been accused of sexual harassment by his personal assistant Van Barnes, whose accusations in a private Facebook post launched an investigation at Amazon into the claims.

Click inside to find out how Jeffrey Tambor responded to the new claims…

Read Tambor‘s statement about Trace‘s claims below:

“For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege – and huge responsibility – of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood,” Tambor said in a statement to Deadline on Thursday (November 16). “Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly.”

“I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator – ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express,” he added.

Trace Lysette’s Full Statement

Last week, it was reported in the media that Van Barnes, who previously worked as Jeffrey Tambor’s assistant while shooting Transparent, had privately spoken out on her social media about her own experiences of abuse. Sadly, I must add my voice to the chorus. Jeffrey has acted inappropriately with me too.

Jeffrey has made many sexual advances and comments at me, but one time it got physical.

One day on set during season 2 Jeffrey, Alexandra Billings and I were all outfitted in pajamas. I was in a flimsy top and matching short shorts. Upon seeing me in my costume, Jeffrey sexualized me with an over the top comment. Alexandra and I laughed it off because it was so absurd and we thought surely it had to be a bad joke. I shook it off. Then later, in between takes, I stood in a corner on the set as the crew reset for a wide shot. My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me. He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me. Again, I laughed it off and rolled my eyes. I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show. When they called action, I put that moment in the corner into its own corner of my mind. Compartmentalizing has always been part of my survival tool kit, long before I came to Hollywood. It’s shitty to admit out loud — and I don’t say it to justify what I went through — but given the journey and circumstances of my life, I was used to being treated as a sexual object by men — this one just happened to be famous.

Despite multiple uncomfortable experiences with Jeffrey, it has been an incredible, career-solidifying honor to bring life to my character Shea on Amazon’s Transparent. Working on the award-winning series as a low-income trans woman with active roots in New York’s ball culture is a rare opportunity most of my sisters are not given.

My hope is that Amazon can find the good in this, and use this as an opportunity, a teachable moment to re-center the other trans characters in this show with the family members instead of just pulling it. Let our brilliant writers continue to craft something that is entertaining and creates social change the way they know how. Don’t let the trans community suffer for the actions of one cis male actor. Transparent has been a guiding light in the industry, by employing more trans people in Hollywood than any other production in history, which made it even more difficult to speak out. As trans-women and survivors we have often felt we never had the power or the voice to speak out on our personal and collective pain. I am proud of my work on Transparent and its “trans-affirmative action” mission, as coined by its creator Jill Soloway. And I call on Amazon to make another bold affirmative move to our communities, remove the problem and let the show go on. It’s vital that the show’s creator, showrunner and its studio re-center the narrative of Transparent on the experiences of the other trans characters and family members audiences have grown to love on the series.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Jeffrey Tambor, Trace Lysette

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  • Sansa Squad

    what a f*cking creep

  • HG

    At this point, I feel like it would be easier to just name people in the industry who AREN’T predators/abusers/creeps…

  • Yamdevyam Yam

    He is creep and deviant

  • princessKate

    what a creep. His show should be taken out of circulation.

  • Josephine

    Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
    On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check itGoogleNetJobsCloudWorkFromHome..

  • joshemerson

    I hate that people are so quick to always believe these accusations. None of us knows what actually happened and there’s no reason to believe one person over the other right away. It’s so stupid.

  • EastCoastJ

    Salem 1692.

  • Gosiak

    Yeah, he admitted it’s true.