Lysette has accused the actor of making sexually charged remarks to her during their work together on the ground-breaking Amazon comedy series, as well as acting inappropriately during one alleged incident that “got physical.” Lysette has appeared as a guest star in multiple episodes of the show’s four seasons to date.
Amazon is already investigating allegations of harassment leveled against Tambor by his former assistant on the show, Van Barnes. The allegations from Lysette will be probed as part of the ongoing investigation, Amazon said.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Lysette said that Tambor has made “many sexual advances and remarks at me, but one time it got physical.”
She goes on to describe an incident that allegedly occurred during Season 2 of “Transparent,” in which she, Alexandra Billings, and Tambor were dressed in thin pajamas.
“I stood in a corner on the set as the crew reset for a wide shot. My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me,” the statement reads. “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 thrusts back and forth against my body.”
“I felt his penis against my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off me.”
Lysette continued that she laughed off the moment and compartmentalized it: “I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show.”
Lysette ended her statement by calling on Amazon to use the alleged incident as a “teachable moment” and “re-center the other trans characters in this show with the family members.”
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) November 17, 2017
Tambor has denied the allegations in a statement to Variety, writing that he has “never been a predator — ever.”
“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,” the statement reads.
“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,” Tambor continued. “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.”
Reps for Lysette and “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The issue of sexual harassment is particularly sensitive at Amazon given the fact that Amazon Studios president Roy Price was ousted last month following allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior from multiple women.
(Pictured: Trace Lysette and Jeffrey Tambor)