Guilty of being sexually harassed

Opinion  |  Fa Abdul
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Dustin Hoffman was recently accused in sexual misconduct scandals, when a writer working on the set of the TV movie “Death of a Salesman” accused the actor of ‘feeling her ass four times’, repeatedly asked whether she had sex lately and told employees that he wanted to eat her left breast for lunch.

Following the scandal, a National Geographic producer also came forward and shared her experience where Hoffman repeatedly tried to get her into a hotel room and asked "if she had ever been intimate with a man over 40".

Besides the actor, there are many other Hollywood residents accused of sexual misconducts, including agents, executives, producers, directors and actors.

As Hollywood’s sex scandal keep growing, I find many of my friends eagerly discussing it, as if similar incidents never occur in Malaysia.

Unfortunately, it does.

Seven years ago, I became a single mother after my marriage ended. I was struggling emotionally and financially when a Facebook acquaintance introduced me to a theatre producer, director and writer. He seemed like a nice man.

A week later, I received a call from him, asking me out for coffee to discuss his future projects. He claimed to have good vibes about me and would like to hear about my ideas. I jumped at the opportunity and agreed to meet.

I remember meeting him at a shopping mall one evening - I put out my right hand for a formal greet, but instead of a handshake, he gave me a tight hug.

I was surprised and honestly not quite comfortable with his method of greeting. However, I consoled myself, thinking perhaps he was just a warm and friendly person.

Our meeting went pretty well. He appeared very impressed with my ideas and suggested for both of us to team up as scriptwriters for his upcoming theatre production and short films.

“We should book a room and spend all week there. That’s how it’s usually done,” he said.

“I am not quite comfortable with that,” I told him.

“Come on, if you want to be successful, you have to give your all. You have so much talent, don’t you see that?” he persuaded.

I trusted him, yet I kept imagining getting caught by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais). Yes, it sounds funny now, I know – but at the time, it was very far from funny.

Since our first meeting, he kept texting me, asking how I was doing and all that. I entertained him, of course.

The thought of a well-known producer wanting to work with a nobody like me was very engaging.

One evening, as I was getting ready for bed, I received a phone call from him. He sounded drunk and started talking about the both of us explicitly.

I hung up the phone, feeling somewhat distraught...

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