After actress Julianna Margulies revealed she had been sexually harassed and intimidated by Harvey Weinstein and Steven Seagal in an interview with Sirius XM on November 3rd, Portia de Rossi has come forward, stating Seagal tried to expose himself in front of her during an audition.
De Rossi shared her account via Twitter on Wednesday, November 8th. She stated that she attended a private audition in Seagal’s office during which he told her that it’s important for actors to have “off-screen chemistry.” He then proceeded to unzip his pants.
After hastily exiting the room, de Rossi called her female agent, who reportedly acted “unfazed” and simply said, “Well, I didn’t know if he was your type.”
De Rossi’s wife, Ellen DeGeneres, showed her support by quoting de Rossi’s tweet, expressing pride that she came forward.
In October, actress and journalist Lisa Guerrero also spoke about her negative experiences with Seagal on an episode of Inside Edition and later to The Hollywood Reporter. According to Guerrero, in 1997 she went to a private audition at Seagal’s home and Seagal reportedly greeted her in a silk robe.
Similarly, Juianna Margulies was asked by a female casting director to attend a private, late-night audition in Seagal’s hotel room. Once there, Seagal made advances towards her and attempted to give her a massage. He also made it known he was in possession of a gun.
Perhaps one of the most disturbing details of both de Rossi and Marguilies’ accounts is that other women were aware of the abuse taking place — specifically an agent and casting director. So let their stories serve as a reminder to always be vigilant when it comes to potential sexual misconduct, and to strive to support and protect others whenever and whereever possible.
We’re thankful for de Rossi and for the many others who have shared their accounts. Each story gets us one step closer to a world where in which sexual assault is not tolerated in any industry.