"Transparent" actress Trace Lysette said co-star Jeffrey Tambor sexually harassed her. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual harassment by Transparent actress Trace Lysette, the second woman to come forward who worked with the star.
Lysette, who is transgender, shared her experience with the actor on Twitter Thursday adding that she is joining Tambor's assistant Van Barnes, who worked with him while shooting Transparent and is also transgender, in accusing the 73-year-old of sexual harassment.
"Jeffrey has made many sexual advances and comments at me, but one time it got physical," Lysette, who portrayed yoga instructor Shea on the series, wrote about an encounter that was also seen by Transparent actress Alexandra Billings.
"I was in a flimsy top and matching short shorts. Upon seeing me in my costume, Jeffrey 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," Lysette continued.
She said that Tambor approached her a second time in between takes.
"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," she said.
Lysette, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, said that she felt she was targeted by Tambor, describing life on set as a "roller coaster" where the actor was one minute lovely and "the next it's a temper tantrum or flirtation."
In a second encounter Lysette described Tambor said that he didn't want to have sex with her during a meeting that included his manager.
Tambor has denied Lysette and Van Barnes' allegations and both women said they went to producers of Transparent with their stories, but that no action was taken.
"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," Tambor said in a statement about Lysette's claims.