Tippi He­dren claims Al­fred Hitch­cock sex­u­ally as­saulted her

Malta Independent - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Ac­tress Tippi He­dren has claimed Al­fred Hitch­cock sex­u­ally ha­rassed her while they worked to­gether in the 1960s.

Writ­ing in her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, she claimed the di­rec­tor “threw him­self” on top of her in the back of his limou­sine and tried to kiss her.

The ac­tress de­scribed the en­counter as “an aw­ful, aw­ful mo­ment”.

He­dren added that she didn’t tell any­one be­cause “sex­ual harass­ment and stalk­ing were terms that didn’t ex­ist” in the early 1960s.

She con­tin­ued: “Be­sides, he was Al­fred Hitch­cock, one of Universal’s su­per­stars, and I was just a lucky lit­tle blonde model he’d res­cued from rel­a­tive ob­scu­rity. Which one of us was more valu­able to the stu­dio, him or me?”

He­dren ap­peared in The Birds in 1963 and the fol­low­ing year starred in Marnie - both of which were di­rected by Hitch­cock.

The ac­tress, now 86, made the claims in her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Tippi: A Mem­oir, which is pub­lished in Novem­ber.

She has spo­ken in the past about the di­rec­tor’s al­leged treat­ment of her, but has gone into more de­tail in the mem­oir.

He­dren de­scribed a later en­counter in Hitch­cock’s of­fice where the di­rec­tor “sud­denly grabbed” her and “put his hands” on her.

She wrote: “It was sex­ual, it was per­verse, and it was ugly, and I couldn’t have been more shocked and more re­pulsed.

“The harder I fought him, the more ag­gres­sive he be­came. Then he started adding threats, as if he could do any­thing to me that was worse than what he was try­ing to do at that mo­ment.”

Af­ter re­fus­ing his de­mands, He­dren said Hitch­cock “looked di­rectly into my eyes, his face red with rage, and promised, ‘I’ll ruin your ca­reer.’”

The ac­tress said Hitch­cock then made her life dif­fi­cult, re­fus­ing to sub­mit her work for the Os­car nom­i­na­tions or let her take on other act­ing roles while he still had her un­der con­tract.

He­dren, whose daugh­ter Me­lanie Grif­fith is also an ac­tress, said: “I’ve made it my mis­sion ever since to see to it that while Hitch­cock may have ru­ined my ca­reer, I never gave him the power to ruin my life.”

She went on to say that, de­spite his treat­ment of her, she felt “a wave of sad­ness” when he died in 1980.

“It sur­prised ev­ery­one that I went to Hitch­cock’s funeral,” she wrote, adding: “As far as I was con­cerned, there was no un­fin­ished busi­ness be­tween us, noth­ing more that needed to be said.

“I’d al­ready healed and moved on by the time Hitch­cock died, far past any­thing I’d ever imag­ined for my­self. So in the end, I was there to say, ‘Good­bye, and thank you, Hitch.’”

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