In the 1960s, actress Tippi Hedren was the muse of acclaimed director Alfred Hitchcock, starring in “Birds”, his horror followup to “Psycho”, and in his subsequent drama “Marnie”.
According to the New York Post, which has obtained an advance copy of Hedren’s upcoming autobiography, the actress makes some shocking claims about Hitchcock, alleging cruel on-set behaviour, continual sexual harassment and an incident in which he sexually assaulted her — after having a secret door installed linking his office to Hedren’s dressing room.
Hedren — mother of actress Melanie Griffith and grandmother of “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson — claims that during filming of “The Birds”, Hitchcock instructed star Rod Taylor and other male members of the cast not to “touch The Girl” or even talk to her.
When Hitchcock spotted her speaking with a man on set, she writes, he would become “icy” and “petulant,” shooting her an “expressionless, unwavering stare … even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage.”
In addition, she learned that Hitchcock also had her handwriting analyzed, often instructed his driver to cruise past her house, and once asked her to “touch him” as he tried to kiss her in the back of his limousine.
“It was an awful, awful moment,” she writes, noting that “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” during that era.
Despite her misgivings after what she says was a horrific experience filming “The Birds”, the film’s critical acclaim led her to agree to work with Hitchcock again in “Marnie,” but things only became worse.
Not only did the director’s inappropriate behaviour escalate, she claims he also installed a secret door that connecting his office to her dressing room, and details the time she says he entered her dressing room and began fondling her.
“It was sexual, it was perverse,” she writes. “The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became.”
Hedren’s book, Tippi, is set to be released on Tuesday, Nov. 1.