- Jeffrey Tambor, the star of Amazon TV series “Transparent,” has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women.
- Actress Tracy Lysette said that Tambor made inappropriate sexual comments, and thrust his body against hers without permission, on the set of “Transparent.”
- Both of Tambor’s accusers are transgender women.
- In a response to the second accusation, Tambor said he is difficult to work with and can express his opinions harshly, but says “I have never been a predator — ever.”
Jeffrey Tambor stars in Amazon’s award-winning TV series “Transparent” — as transgender woman Maura Pfefferman — and on Thursday an actress on the show accused him of sexual harassment and misconduct on set.
Tracy Lysette, who is openly transgender, is the second woman to come forward with an allegation of sexual misconduct against Tambor, who has won two Emmys for his role. The first woman to accuse Tambor was his former assistant, Van Barnes, who is also a transgender woman. Following Barnes’ accusation, Amazon began an internal investigation into the matter.
Lysette plays a yoga teacher and friend of Maura’s named Shea, and appears in season two’s famous scene when Maura tries to say “yas queen” the right way.
Lysette told The Hollywood Reporter that when she arrived on set in full costume for the “yas queen” scene, Tambor said, “My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually.” Alexandra Billings, the other actor in the scene, heard Tambor’s remark and confirmed the interaction to THR. Lysette said that she and Billings laughed off Tambor’s remark “because it was so absurd.”
Then, a few minutes later, according to Lysette, Tambor approached her. “He came in close,” Lysette said. “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. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas,” Lysette told THR.
Lysette said that other people were around, but didn’t notice because they were working. Lysette said that it was discreet, and could have looked like Tambor was giving her a hug. Lynette said she pushed Tambor away and rolled her eyes.
Since that day on set, Lysette said it’s been difficult. “One minute Jeffrey is lovely, the next it’s a temper tantrum or flirtation.” Lysette also recalled an exchange later into production on season two. Tambor set up a meeting with his manager for potential representation. When Lysette thanked him, she said that Tambor said, “Well, yeah Trace. I really believe in you. And you know what? I don’t even want to have sex with you.”
Barnes and Lysette said that they approached producers of “Transparent” about Tambor’s behaviour, but they claim none took action.
Tambor denied that he was a “predator” in a statement to THR.
“I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact,” Tambor said. “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.” (Full statement here.)
Business Insider has reached out to Tambor’s representation for further comment, but has not gotten a response at this time. An Amazon spokesperson told THR, “This information will be added to our ongoing conversation.”
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