LOS ANGELES • Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman is the latest high-profile Hollywood personality to be swept up by a sexual-harassment storm, with allegations that he targeted an intern on a film set more than 30 years ago.
In response, the 80-year-old apologised in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter magazine: "I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation."
He added that the behaviour described by Anna Graham Hunter in a first-person account for the magazine was "not reflective of who I am". She alleged in extracts from her 1985 diary and notes to her sister that he made vulgar remarks while she was a 17-year-old production assistant on the set of the 1985 television film, Death Of A Salesman.
"He was openly flirtatious. He talked about sex to me and in front of me," Hunter wrote.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that six women - including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge - had made allegations of harassment against movie director Brett Ratner.
The fallout has led to Ratner stepping back from deals to finance Warner Brothers' films. Through his stake in RatPac-Dune Entertainment, he had a deal to finance as many as 75 of the studio's biggest titles, including Wonder Woman.
"I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros-related activities," he said. "I don't want to have any possible negative impact on the studio until these personal issues are resolved."
Studios use outside financiers to reduce the risk of movie-making.
Ratner has also been given the cold shoulder by Playboy Enterprises, which was putting all projects - including a planned biopic on founder Hugh Hefner - with Ratner's company on hold.
Meanwhile, the Old Vic theatre in London said it was "deeply dismayed" to hear allegations against Kevin Spacey when he was artistic director between 2004 and 2015.
It urged anyone with complaints to contact it, saying it had hired external advisers to help deal with any information received.
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE