The woman accusing Michael Douglas of masturbating in front of her nearly three decades ago says she and her friends feared what would happen if she ever spoke out against the actor.
Author Susan Braudy — who came forward with allegations against Douglas in a new story from The Hollywood Reporter — says one concerned friend even urged her not to go public with her claims after the alleged incident with the star.
“One of my friends said you better not tell people about him,” Braudy said in an interview with NBC that aired on the “Today” show Friday. “People were frightened for me.”
Braudy, who was hired by Douglas’ production company in the late 1980s, claims she was subjected to frequent harassment by the actor when she worked with him. She told THR that Douglas spoke with “near-constant profane and sexually charged dialogue.”
She says the encounter where Douglas allegedly masturbated in front of her took place at his apartment in New York in 1989 while they were meeting to discuss a potential character similar to E.T.
“He slid down to the floor, unbuckled his belt and put his hands inside his trousers. And I could see what he was doing. And then he began to sort of fondle himself and I was very scared,” Braudy said on “Today,” reiterating claims she made to THR.
“He thought he was the king of the world and that he could humiliate me without any repercussions,” she said.
Stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
Douglas, 73, denies Braudy’s allegations.
“At no time then did she express or display even the slightest feeling of discomfort working in our environment, or with me personally,” Douglas said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “That is because at no time, and under no circumstance, did I behave inappropriately toward her.”
Braudy’s accusations emerge a little over a week after Douglas preemptively told Deadline he expected to be accused of sexual misconduct and denied any wrongdoing, calling it a “complete lie, fabrication.”
His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, meanwhile, shared her support for Douglas earlier this week while also supporting the anti-harassment movement #MeToo.
“My reaction was that as two people who have been in this business — him longer than me — was that we support ‘Me Too’ and the movement more than anybody, anybody — me as a woman, him as a man,” Zeta-Jones told Entertainment Tonight.
“And there was no other way than to be preemptive in a story that had to be watched. He did a statement, he did it,” she continued. “I think it’s very clear the way that he stands. I cannot elaborate on something that’s so very personal to him.”