Jeffrey Tambor has been accused of sexual assault by a second transgender woman, his fellow Transparent actor Trace Lysette. The news comes after Amazon's popular series announces they may continue production without Tambor, after he was accused of sexual harassment by another transgender woman last week. Tambor has responded to both claims and denies being a "predator," but admits that his behavior on and off set could make it difficult to work with him. Both accusers say that they approached Transparent producers with their complaints about Tambor, but no action was taken.
Trace Lysette, who plays yoga instructor Shea on Transparent, claims Jeffrey Tambor pressed up against her in a very sexual way during filming and repeatedly made lewd sexually suggestive comments about wanting to have sex with her. Lysette explains.
"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."
Lysette also said that, "I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas." An Amazon spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter that the "information will be added to our ongoing investigation." Jefferey Tambor issued a lengthy statement in response to the allegations, denying that he is a predator, while admitting that he can sometimes be difficult to work with. In addition to the sexual harassment claims, both transgender women have said that Tambor is notoriously hard to work with and that he has a bad temper. Tambor had this to say.
"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."
Though Tambor doesn't believe that he is a "predator," these two claims paint a different picture. Trace Lysette has yet to respond to Tambor's statement, nor has his assistant Van Barnes, who also accused the actor of sexual misconduct. 73-year old Jeffrey Tambor 's assistant, Van Barnes, said last week in a private Facebook post that the Transparent actor repeatedly propositioning her, groped her, and made lewd comments. Barnes also says that Tambor would have porn videos playing loudly while they were having discussions. Trace Lysette said she thought it would be best to "remove the problem and let the show go on." It appears that Amazon may be looking into continuing the show without Tambor, though it has not been confirmed.
The accusations against Jeffrey Tambor have dealt a blow to a series applauded for its progressive outlook on gender issues and representation of LGBT characters. Tambor has won two Emmys for his work on the show and has been the public face. The future of Transparent is uncertain at this time, at least a future involving Jeffrey Tambor. You can read the accusations as well as Tambor's full statement via The Hollywood Reporter.