Two Transgender Women Have Accused 'Transparent' Actor Jeffrey Tambor Of Sexual Harassment

Jeffrey Tambor accused of sexual harassment, transparent actor
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One of the alleged assaults took place during the filming of a popular scene from the series.

Two women who worked with Jeffrey Tambor have claimed the Transparent and Arrested Development actor has been sexually inappropriate towards them.

Trace Lysette and Van Barnes, both transgender women, have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment by Tambor on the set of the Amazon hit series.

One of the most popular scenes of the show that revolved around the saying ‘yas queen’ seemed innocent and authentic enough and went viral shortly after it aired. But Lysette told the Hollywood Reporter that Tambor acted extremely inappropriate while filming the popular scene.

According to Lysette, Tambor said, "My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually," once he saw her in costume wearing a lingerie top and shorts. Alexandra Billings, another actor in the scene, overheard the comment and confirmed it to The Hollywood Reporter. Lysette said they “laughed it off because it was so absurd.”

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Moments after, she claims Tambor approached her again in a satin kimono and gray wig.

"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 thrust back and forth against my body,” Lysette said. “I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas."

Although they were in plain sight of other coworkers, no one witnessed the incident. She said Tambor was “discreet” and that it probably looked like the actor was giving her a hug.

Lysette claimed another sexual harassment incident occurred during a meeting with Tambor and his manager for representation. She said she thanked him and "and he said, 'Well, yeah Trace. I really believe in you. And you know what? I don't even want to have sex with you.' And then he just looked at me as if he very much indeed wanted to have sex with me. It was an up-and-down look. I rolled my eyes and went to my trailer and thought, 'This man is something else.'"

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Barnes, Tambor’s former personal assistant, also accused the actor of sexual misconduct. Barnes posted her accusations in a private Facebook post that was leaked. She signed a nondisclosure agreement, according to her lawyer, and couldn’t comment on the incidents involving Tambor and herself and Lysette.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which obtained a copy of the post, Barnes didn’t specifically name Tambor but vented about an employee. It stated that the unnamed employee would make comments like “I should be sleeping with him if I want a Hollywood industry appropriate pay grade" and "it wouldn't take long, he pops quick." It also said that he would play loud porn and pat her on the butt.

Her allegations resulted in investigations by Amazon Studios and bring the number women accusing Tambor of sexual abuse up to two. Lysette recalls how stressed Barnes was as she worked with Tambor. They lived together at the time.

"She would come home wrecked and stressed,” Lysette told Hollywood Reporter. “I saw him break her down. She for the most part kept it to herself. She was just like, 'Girl, he is a piece of work. If you only knew what I’m going through.' But I knew."

The two actresses said they tried to get the Transparent producers involved, but nothing happened. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Tambor issued the following statement to them, denying the allegations:

“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 story is one of many being circulated about sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood following the Harvey Weinstein scandal

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