Comedian and film star Jerry Lewis was a sexual harasser and assaulter in the vein of Harvey Weinstein or Louis C.K., according to a new Vanity Fair expose. In an accompanying mini-documentary, actress Hope Holiday says Lewis locked her in his dressing room and began masturbating in front of her.
Holiday had every reason to trust Lewis. She met the comedian through her father, a theater executive in New York, when she was 13 and considered Lewis "family." The year after Holiday's breakthrough in Billy Wilder's film The Apartment, Lewis offered her a part in The Ladies Man, a 1961 movie cowritten by Lewis that required him to be surrounded by young, beautiful costars. "The first day we were working, he said, 'Can you come to the dressing room afterward? I want to discuss what we're going to shoot tomorrow,' " Holiday says. "I go into this garish dressing room with red wallpaper and gold furniture…and I sit down and he presses a button, locks me in the dressing room with him. Then he starts to talk to me: 'Y'know, you could be very attractive but you wear pants all the time. I have never seen you in a skirt. You have nice legs and you've got good boobs.' Then he starts to talk to me about sex."
Sick to her stomach, Holiday told Lewis that her boyfriend was waiting outside. But that didn't stop Lewis. "He starts to talk dirty to me and as he's talking, the pants open, and the ugly thing came out and he starts to jerk off," Holiday says. "I was frightened…. I just sat there and I wanted to leave so badly."
After reading this, I was reminded of this interview with Jerry Lewis. Christ, what an asshole: