Portia de Rossi says Steven Seagal exposed himself to her during an audition
Actress Portia de Rossi is perhaps best known for her role as Lindsay Bluth in Arrested Development, playing the long-suffering wife of never-nude Tobias Funke. Since then, de Rossi has married talk show legend Ellen Degeneres, and the two have been living happily ever since. However, now she has come forward with a moment of sexual harassment that she claims occurred during an audition with action film star Steven Seagal.
Today, Seagal looks like Sebastian Gorka.
Portia de Rossi made the following statement on Twitter:
"My final audition for a Steven Segal movie took place in his office. He told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants. I ran out and called my agent. Unfazed, she replied, “well, I didn’t know if he was your type.”
We don't know if this allegation is true, but perhaps the most harrowing part of it is the complicity of her agent. If the agents of famous actresses have no problem sending them alone into rooms with male stars, knowing full well what will happen, then how are they any different from glorified pimps? The systemic problems of Hollywood manifest here in the behavior of her agent.
Neither de Rossi nor Seagal have commented further on this. However, one other person has commented on the situation:
This isn't the first situation involving Seagal and the exposure of his body. Actress Rae Dawn Chong knocked on Seagal's door according to a scheduled appointment, and he answered in his bathrobe.
“I stood outside the open door mortified that I was told to go to this meeting,” she said. “My heart broke because my agency had obviously pimped me out to this creep.”
It is possible that she misinterpreted this situation. However, Seagal then “walked across his room and sat in a chair and manspread so I could see his junk. But he casually covered back up as if it was a mistake.” Then, he “asked if my blouse was silk and could he feel it. I said, ‘You know what silk feels like’ and I left.”
After that, she says that he left "sex messages" on her answering machine for many years.
This is, sad as it its, one of the tamer instances of sexual harassment in Hollywood. I would imagine that most male stars have done things like this, showing how pernicious the attitude really is. At this point, instead of singling out Seagal alone, it should probably be assumed that this behavior was practiced by dozens of male stars.
He didn't grab or molest anyone, so he's at least not that monstrous. He has boundary issues, which is probably systemic in Hollywood. What can be done to change the culture there? It gets repetitive after a while, as another intractable problem surfaces from fame, power, wealth and sexual desire.
To read about one of the worst accusations to come out this week, Charlie Sheen was accused of raping 13-year-old actor Corey Haim.