Thursday afternoon Variety published an exclusive report on three new allegations of sexual misconduct by actor Dustin Hoffman, including one account that involves a minor.
Cori Thomas was in high school when she says Dustin Hoffman exposed himself to her in a hotel room. Melissa Kester was a recent college graduate when Hoffman allegedly sexually assaulted her while recording audio for the film “Ishtar.” A third woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said that Hoffman assaulted her in the back of a station wagon and manipulated her into a subsequent sexual encounter that left her traumatized.
Cori Thomas said her encounter with Hoffman happened when she was a 16-year-old high school student and aspiring actress. She was friends with Hoffman’s daughter Karina. The three of them spent a day together in New York, which Thomas describes as “one of the greatest days of my life.” After dinner, Hoffman suggested they go back to the nearby hotel where he was living at the time. They left a note for Thomas’ parents to pick her up at the hotel but shortly after they arrived there, Hoffman convinced his daughter to go home because it was a school night.
Shortly after Karina departed, according to Thomas, Hoffman went to the restroom. She heard the shower turn on. “I was just sitting there waiting for my parents,” Thomas said.
After several minutes, “He came out of the bathroom with a towel at first wrapped around him, which he dropped,” Thomas said. “He was standing there naked. I think I almost collapsed, actually. It was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do. And he milked it. He milked the fact that he was naked. He stood there. He took his time.”
Hoffman eventually put on a robe and sat on the bed, according to Thomas, who said that he then asked her to massage his feet. She complied.
“I didn’t know what to do in the circumstance,” she said. “I didn’t know that I could say no, so I did it. And he kept telling me, ‘I’m naked. Do you want to see?’” Thomas said that she pretended not to hear Hoffman as he made suggestive comments to her.
Eventually, the phone rang and Thomas went downstairs to meet her waiting mother who had arrived in the lobby. Thomas says her mother always suspected something had happened but that she never told her at the time. She also didn’t tell Hoffman’s daughter, who was a bridesmaid at her wedding. However, seven years after the incident, Thomas did tell another family member about the incident and that person has confirmed her account of hearing the story in the 1980s.
The other two incidents involve Hoffman sexually assaulting two women during the production of the film Ishtar. In both cases, the women claim Hoffman penetrated them with his fingers while other people were nearby. Both women describe being shocked and unsure how to react. The third woman, who remained anonymous, said Hoffman told her to meet him at his hotel later and after some hesitation she did. She says the initial incident was not consensual but suggests the sex that came later that night was, or that she is not clear it wasn’t.
Three women have previously come forward to accuse Hoffman of sexual misconduct. Anna Graham Hunter provided contemporaneous pages of her journal from 1985 claiming Hoffman grabbed her rear end repeatedly when she was a 17-year-old production assistant.
The previous allegations were pretty convincing and these new ones suggest several bad patterns in his behavior. While it’s true that Thomas didn’t report what had happened at the time, she did describe it nearly 30 years ago. Her mother also confirms the note at the restaurant and picking her daughter up at the hotel. I think Hoffman’s career is over unless he can prove he was in another city at the time.