Yesterday a story broke that the writers on Transparent were working on writing Jeffrey Tambor out of Season 5 after a former assistant of Tambor made sexual harassment allegations on Facebook. This seemed extreme as there had been no official complaint, but now fans know why. Fellow Transparent actor Trace Lysette, who plays Shea on the series, has come forward alleging that Tambor harassed her in a sexually aggressive manner during a break in filming.
At this time, Transparent actor Trace Lysette, like the first accuser has not filed an official complaint with Amazon, but this current complaint has more credibility, as Tambor has acknowledged at least some of its veracity. Tambor refuted the claim of his former assistant, Van Barnes, in the strongest terms.
“I am aware that a former disgruntled assistant of mine has made a private post implying that I had acted in an improper manner toward her. I adamantly and vehemently reject and deny any and all implication and allegation that I have ever engaged in any improper behavior toward this person or any other persons I have ever worked with.”
Jeffrey Tambor denies that he was ever inappropriate with Barnes, but his language was very different when talking about fellow Transparent actor Trace Lysette.
Fellow Transparent actor Trace Lysette is alleging that Jeffrey Tambor made “lewd and sexually suggestive and unwanted remarks” to her several times, and once pressed up against her during a break in filming. Tambor is confessing to being “ill-tempered” but denies any predatory behavior.
But Tambor’s tone in response to Trace Lysette’s accusations is far different than it was to that of Van Barnes.
“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.”
Even though Lysette has not filed a formal complaint against Jeffrey Tambor, Amazon is said to have added these allegations to the current investigation into the behavior of Tambor.
But while Jeffrey Tambor is still tempering his apology, fellow Transparent actor Trace Lysette says claims she has a witness to at least once incidence of harassment at the hands of Tambor. Lysette says that Alexandra Billings, another Transparent actor who was in a scene with herself and Tambor, overheard the unwanted comments.
“My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually.”
Trace Lysette says that at the time, she and Billings laughed it off because it sounded absurd. But she says a few minutes later, Tambor approached her again wearing a kimono.
“He [Tambor] 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 pen** on my hip through his thin pajamas.”
There is more going on behind the scenes into the investigation into the behavior of Jeffrey Tambor on the Transparent set. Though Tambor dismissed the complaint from Van Barnes as that of a disgruntled employee, Barnes’ lawyer Alana Chazan says that Barnes has not said anything publicly as she has signed a non-disclosure agreement. But still, since Barnes’ Facebook post on Tambor was leaked, she is being threatened.
“Despite having made no public statements to date, the disclosure of Van Barnes’ identity by the press has already led to Ms. Barnes receiving numerous threats and harassment online. Ms. Barnes is cooperating with the investigation being conducted by Amazon and will not be making a statement while the investigation is pending.”
The only current word from Amazon is that the investigation is still underway into the allegations made about Jeffrey Tambor.
[Featured Image by Willy Sanjuan/AP Images]