Three more accusers have come out to claim that actor Dustin Hoffman has sexually harassed or groped them. In a recent interview with Variety, three women have given details on alleged encounters with Hoffman over the years. Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas and a woman, who would like to remain anonymous, have all shared their stories. Kester claimed that Hoffman stuck his hand down her pants when they were in a recording audio for the film Ishtar. Kester recalled:
He literally just stuck his fingers down my pants. He put his fingers inside me. And the thing I feel most bad about is I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there. I just froze in the situation like ‘Oh my god, what is happening?’ It’s shocking when that happens to you … I thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I felt like I’d been raped. There was no warning. I didn’t know he would do that.
The anonymous accuser had a similar story, claiming that Hoffman also assaulted her while working on Ishtar. In recent weeks, others have come forward, claiming that Hoffman had acted inappropriately with them as well. These women include writer Anna Graham Hunter, friend of the family Cori Thomas, actress Kathryn Rossetter, and a former aspiring actress named Pauline, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Let’s get to know more about Cori Thomas and the allegations she has made against Hoffman.
1. Hoffman’s Daughter Katrina Was a Bridesmaid in Thomas’ Wedding
Thomas has alleged that she was 16 years old when Dustin Hoffman exposed himself to her in a hotel room. The Hollywood Reporter states that Thomas was friends with two of Hoffman’s daughters – Karina and Jenna, and was their classmate at the U.N. International School. In an interview with Variety, Thomas said she spent a Sunday afternoon with Karina Hoffman and her dad Dustin Hoffman, walking around Manhattan. She described Hoffman as an idol of hers at the time. Thomas claimed that the three ended up eating at Jim McMullin’s and later went to a nearby hotel where Hoffman was staying while his apartment was being renovated. She then said that Hoffman left a note with the maitre d’ to let Thomas’ parents know they had retreated to the hotel and to pick her up there instead of the restaurant.
At some point when in the hotel room, Karina went home to her mother’s because it was a school night, according to Thomas’ story. Thomas then said that Hoffman went into the bathroom and she heard the shower water running. She told Variety, “I was just sitting there waiting for my parents. He came out of the bathroom with a towel at first wrapped around him, which he dropped,” Thomas said. “He was standing there naked. I think I almost collapsed, actually. It was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do. And he milked it. He milked the fact that he was naked. He stood there. He took his time.” Thomas said that Hoffman then asked her to massage his feet and she agreed to do it.
She says “what saved her” was when the phone rang to let them know her mother had arrived to take her home. Thomas is the daughter of former Liberian Ambassador David Thomas and attorney Zuleika Thomas. And, Thomas said she never told Hoffman’s daughter Karina because she feared embarrassing Karina, who was actually a bridesmaid in Thomas’ wedding.
2. When the Alleged Incident Occurred Hoffman Was Divorcing Ex-Wife Anne Byrne
Hoffman was married to ex-wife Anne Byrne from 1969 to 1980 and the same year they divorced, he married second wife Lisa Hoffman. Byrne is an actress, who appeared in movies including Why Would I Lie?, A Night Full of Rain and Manhattan. And, while Hoffman remarried the same year he divorced Byrne, so did she. Byrne tied the knot in 1980 with Ivan Kronenfeld.
With Hoffman, Byrne had daughter Jenna and she already had daughter Karina Hoffman-Birkhead from a previous relationship. Hoffman ended up adopting Karina. The Free Library reports that in 1998, Karina was working for Marcella Porcas and her husband Russell, who ran the Cambridgeshire company. Allegedly, Karina stole 5000 pounds from the company. According to Marcella Porcas, “Before all this happened she seemed really close to her father, she was always on the phone to him. But when this happened, it all stopped. I asked her why she did it and she said: ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do it. I was desperate for money’. Karina was a friend of my husband for over eight years, he was even at the birth of her child. She betrayed our trust. It was like everything was owed to her.”
In the past, Hoffman admitted that he didn’t spend as much time with daughters Jenna and Katrina or his first wife Byrne, explaining, “I was away more during my first marriage. My first wife was a dancer and our work would separate us for months. It was not easy to have a home life.” Priorities appeared to be different with current wife Lisa, who Daily Mail says, “Our priority was to be with the kids. Even if we had a social obligation later, we would have dinner with the children first and go out afterwards. We still all love being round the table together.” Hoffman has six children in total. In addition to Jenna and Katrina, Hoffman’s children include Jake Hoffman, Rebecca Hoffman, Alexandra Hoffman, and Max Hoffman.
3. Relatives Have Backed Up Thomas’ Story
When Thomas’ mother Zuleika Thomas picked her up from the hotel where the alleged incident with Hoffman occurred, Thomas revealed nothing until recently. Thomas explained that, “My mother always had some instinct that something untoward had happened. She kept asking me, and I was so mortified, I never said anything.” Zuleika Thomas told Variety that she remembers parts of her daughter’s story, recalling when she arrived at Jim McMullin’s restaurant to pick up her daughter, receiving a note that Cori was at a nearby hotel, and then picking up her daughter. She also said she remembered being concerned that her daughter was alone in the hotel room with Hoffman.
In addition, according to Variety, around the time of the alleged incident, Thomas told a family member, who confirmed to Variety that they heard Thomas’ story some time in the 1980s. She reportedly told several close friends as well.
4. Hoffman’s Attorney Has Called the Accusations ‘Defamatory Falsehoods’
Dustin Hoffman’s attorney, Mark A. Neubauer, has released a statement, calling the latest accusations against Hoffman, via Variety, are “defamatory falsehoods”, according to FOX News. When accusations started becoming public against Hoffman weeks ago, he released the following statement in response to the news, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”
5. Today Thomas Works as a Playwright
Thomas currently works as a playwright and is a non-profit organization founder. Thomas is most famous for her production “When January Feels Like Summer”, which was directed by Chuck Patterson at the City Theatre In Pittsburgh in 2010. The production actually won the American Theatre Critics Association Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. Cori Thomas is also a mother to daughter Natasha, who is an author.
In Thomas’ New Dramatists bio, it states, “Cori Thomas is a playwright and actress … A New Dramatists Resident, she has been commissioned by South Coast Rep Theatre, The Sloan Foundation, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater; The Working Theater; NYSCA, EST, Pillsbury House Theatre … Among other projects, Cori is writer on an original series for Audible.com, she is also contracted to write a screenplay for HBO Films.”