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An Academy Award-winning actor is vehemently denying claims from a former employee that he sexually harassed her, and many are wondering if some of her claims are true sexual harassment.
According to Susan Braudy, a former employee, actor Michael Douglas acted inappropriately with her while she worked for him back in the 1980s. However, some of her accusations include Douglas’ dirty or off-color jokes, leading some to wonder if Braudy is overreacting to some of Douglas’ actions. They argue that individual instances of crude or dirty jokes do not constitute sexual harassment.
Douglas, the Oscar-winning star of films like Wall Street and Ant-Man, admits her made some crude jokes over 30 years ago, back during the 1980s. However, he denies her most serious allegation, that he once masterbated in front of her 30 years ago.
Susan Braudy, a journalist who worked for Douglas’ production company Stonebridge Productions, told The Hollywood Reporter the “Fatal Attraction” star sexually harassed her on multiple occasions.
Before Braudy’s account was published, Douglas told Deadline more than a week ago that he vehemently denied Braudy’s claims. He did not name Braudy to Deadline, but confirmed a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct was a former employee of his from 32 years ago.
“I’m bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now,” Douglas told Deadline.
Braudy claims the Academy Award-winning actor, who was at the prime of his career in the 1980s, commented on her appearance and openly spoke about his affairs with actress Kathleen Turner and a European heiress.
Braudy claims Douglas said inappropriate things to her.
“One screenwriter I hired asked if he could bring his daughter to meet Michael,” Braudy stated. “She asked Michael for a banana. Michael strode to me and said so that only I could hear, ‘Yes. And then you can tell your friends you licked Michael Douglas’ banana.’ I was appalled.”
The journalist said she began wearing loose, black clothing to work.
“He (Douglas) asked a producer, ‘Why does Susan dress like a pregnant nun?’ Another time I laughed loudly and he shouted to a group of agents, ‘Oh yeah, she’s a screamer! I bet she screams in the sack.’ I protested, ‘Please, don’t talk like that. It’s inappropriate.’ This made him laugh until he got pink splotches on his cheeks,” Braudy stated.
Braudy said things changed after she was at Douglas’ apartment in 1989 trading ideas for a script. She claims the actor began masturbating in front of her.
“I peered at him (Douglas) and saw he’d inserted both hands into his unzipped pants,” Braudy wrote. “I realized to my horror that he was rubbing his private parts. Within seconds his voice cracked and it appeared to me he’d had an orgasm.”
Braudy said she ran home and vowed to never be alone with the “Wall Street” actor again. Following the alleged incident, Braudy said her relationship with Douglas soured and she was let go in late 1989. Douglas reportedly asked Braudy to sign a confidentiality agreement, but she did not.