Transparent Actress Trace Lysette Alleges Jeffrey Tambor Sexually Harassed Her
By Mila Madison
In a statement issued Thursday, Lysette who plays the character Shea on the show, claimed that Tambor “has made many sexual advances and comments” towards her and that “one time it got physical.”
"One day on set during season 2 Jeffery, Alexandra Billings and I were all outfitted in pajamas. I was in a flimsy top and matching shorts. Upon seeing me in my costume, Jeffery 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,” the Actress said in her statement. “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.”
Read Lysette’s full statement below:
Tambor, 73, who stars as Maura Pfefferman on the hit show, responded to the claim in a statement issued to Deadline on Thursday:
“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. 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.”
This is the second accusation of sexual misconduct perpetrated by the Tambor. In early November, his former assistant Van Barnes posted on Facebook claiming that Tambor (referred to as her former boss) had “repeatedly propositioned her, made lewd comments, groped her, and threatened to sue her if she spoke up.
Tambor responded to the claim in a statement which was also issued to Deadline:
"I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her.
I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other person I have ever worked with. I am appalled and distressed by this baseless allegation."
In addition to being Tambor’s assistant for Transparent, Barnes has also appeared the now defunct “I Am Cait” with Caitlyn Jenner and the Amazon documentary “This Is Me” back in 2015.
Amazon is currently investigating the claims. Transparent creator Jill Soloway said in a statement, “Anything that would diminish the level of respect, safety, and inclusion so fundamental to our workplace is completely antithetical to our principles. We are cooperating with the investigation into this matter.” The writers for the show were already working on the fifth season of the series. It has been reported that they are now contemplating moving forward without the show’s main character.