Tippi Hedren Claims Alfred Hitchcock Sexually Assaulted Her
Tippi Hedren claims famed director Alfred Hitchcock sexually assaulted her several times over the course of their working relationship.
The actress -- who starred in Hitchcock's films The Birds and Marnie -- wrote about the alleged assaults, as well as Hitchcock's bizarre behavior, in her forthcoming memoir Tippi, according to the New York Post.
Hedren claims Hitchcock became unhealthily obsessed with her, and went so far as to warn her fellow cast mates against interacting with the actress on set. She claims any time Hitchcock observed Hedren talking to a male cast or crew member, he became "icy" and "petulant" and looked at her with an "expressionless, unwavering stare…even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage.”
Hedren continued, saying things escalated with the Vertigo director until he physically threw himself on top of her in the back of a limo in an attempt to kiss her.
“It was an awful, awful moment I’ll always wish I could erase from my memory,” she wrote, saying she failed to report the assaults because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” at the time.
The Roar actress also noted what countless women — famous or not — have expressed time and again in regards to reporting their assailants, saying, “Which one of us was more valuable to the studio, him or me?"
Hedren also says Hitchcock lied to her about the famous scene in The Birds, where the actress' character is attacked by flocks of birds. Hitchcock reportedly told Hedren the studio would employ the use of mechanical animals, but they used live birds instead — a move that ultimately caused the actress to snap.
“Not even the greatest trainer in the world could control every move an animal makes, especially when it’s under stress,” she wrote. “It was brutal and ugly and relentless.”
It wasn't until a doctor reportedly asked Hitchcock, "Are you trying to kill her?" that the director gave her time off to recover.
Following the massive success of The Birds, Hedren went on to work with Hitchcock on another film called Marnie, where she says she suffered further abuse from the director.
“I’ve never gone into detail on this, and I never will,” she wrote, recalling a specific incident Hedren says she suffered while in her dressing room on set, according to USA Today. “I’ll simply say that he suddenly grabbed me and put his hands on me. It was sexual, it was perverse, and it was ugly, and I couldn’t have been more shocked and repulsed. The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became. Then he started adding threats, as if he could do anything to me that was worse than what he was trying to do at that moment.”
Despite having signed a five-year contract, Hedren never worked with the Psycho director -- who died in 1980 -- again. The Pacific Heights actress also noted that while she went on to make more movies, the two Hedren shot with Hitchcock were undoubtedly the most successful.
Still, she wrote, “I’ve made it my mission ever since to see to it that while Hitchcock may have ruined my career, I never gave him the power to ruin my life.”
Tippi is set for release on November 1.
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