An actor who stars alongside Jeffrey Tambor on the groundbreaking Amazon series Transparent has accused him of sexual and physical misconduct — the second person associated with the series to claim Tambor abused them.
Trace Lysette, who plays a yoga instructor and a friend of Tambor’s character Maura Pfefferman on the show, has said that Tambor was inappropriate and physically aggressive with her while filming a scene in 2015.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, Lysette said that Tambor made a verbal overture at here when she appeared to film the scene in a lingerie top and short shorts.
“My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually,” Tambor allegedly said to her. Another actor, Alexandra Billings, was reportedly present and heard the remark.
A short time later, Lysette says she was standing off in a corner of the set when Tambor approached her and forced himself against her.
“He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrust back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas,” Lysette told the Hollywood Reporter.
She said she simply rolled her eyes and pushed him away, but complained to producers on the show and nothing was done.
Lysette’s comments come after Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes, wrote a Facebook post referring to a former boss, but not directly naming Tambor, in which she accused him of abusive behavior.
In the post obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, Barnes alleges that this person would touch her backside and play pornography at loud volumes. She also said that he tried to pressure her to sleep with him, claiming that it would help her to get to “a Hollywood industry appropriate pay grade,” and promising that a sexual encounter “wouldn’t take long.”
Barnes’s allegations have led to an internal investigation at Amazon, and a spokesperson for the streaming platform said that the new allegations would be “added to our ongoing conversation.”
Tambor responded to the accusations with the following statement:
For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility — of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly. I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator — ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.
The show’s creator, Jill Soloway, has not yet publicly commented on the allegations.