Bill Murray defends Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations

SHARE Bill Murray defends Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations

In this June 7, 2018, file photo, actor Bill Murray addresses the audience during the 46th AFI Life Achievement Award gala at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. | Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

NEW YORK — Appearing on the same stage where months earlier Dustin Hoffman faced repeated questions about alleged sexual harassment, Bill Murray praised the actor as a “really decent person.”

“Dustin Hoffman is a great man,” Murray said Wednesday night at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y. “He’s crazy, a ‘Borscht Belt’ flirt, has been his whole life. (But) he’s a really sweet man.”

Murray was interviewing his former agent, Michael Ovitz, whose memoir has just been published. Murray and Hoffman were Ovitz clients when they worked together in the 1982 film “Tootsie.”

During an event last December at the Y, Hoffman was chastised by interviewer John Oliver over allegations he had groped an intern while making a TV movie of “Death of a Salesman” in the 1980s. Hoffman denied any wrongdoing and said Oliver was making “an incredible assumption” about him.

Ovitz himself has praised the #MeToo movement, while also speaking warmly of the ousted CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves, a former client. In his memoir, “Who is Michael Ovitz?” the former head of the Creative Artists Agency writes that “a reckoning has come” and calls it “absolutely necessary and long overdue.”

He recalls suspending an agent at CAA for harassing an assistant but also acknowledges that with his clients, some of whom he had heard were “treating younger women as sexual objects,” his focus was “frankly on our business rather on social justice.”

“I deeply regret that,” he writes.

During a recent interview with CNBC, Ovitz said he felt “horrible” for Moonves, who resigned earlier this month after numerous women accused the long-time television executive of sexual misconduct.

Ovitz called Moonves “the most terrific guy” and said he was “always a class act.”

“I had no idea of any of these issues,” Ovitz told CNBC. “Still, I’m not sure I quite understand it all.”

HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer

The Latest
Sleep joins seven modifiable components — maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, being physically active, eating a healthy diet and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar — as the keys to ideal cardiovascular health.
With the NBA’s free agency period set to begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, the Bulls have been very public about their desire to keep LaVine in Chicago.
Both the officer and the suspect were seriously wounded. The shooting June 5 was the third time a law enforcement officer in Chicago had been hit by gunfire in a span of days.
It’s unclear if Griffin will continue his heavy spending in Illinois politics after he and his Citadel hedge fund have packed up and left for Miami. But what was obvious was that his latest big bet on elections in this state was a big failure, up and down the ballot.
Prosecutors are seeking at least 25 years in prison for R. Kelly, who was convicted of sex trafficking last year in New York.