Oliver Stone denies he sexually harassed Melissa Gilbert during audition
Oliver Stone has responded to claims made by Melissa Gilbert that the Oscar-winning filmmaker sexually harassed her during an audition for The Doors.
“We auditioned dozens of actors for roles in The Doors and it was made clear from the outset that our film was going to be a raunchy, no-holds-barred rock ‘n’ roll movie,” Stone said in a statement to THR. “Anyone auditioning was told the scenes would be rehearsed and performed from a script, with my casting director, Risa Bramon Garcia, present throughout the process to ensure a safe environment for all actors who auditioned.”
Garcia echoed these sentiments in her own statement, saying, “Every actor who auditioned came in voluntarily and was aware of the provocative material prior to engaging in their scenes. No actor was forced or expected to do anything that might have been uncomfortable, and most actors embraced the challenge, recognizing Oliver Stone’s vision and the creative process. In my experience, there was no attempt to personally offend any particular actor. I always have and still do go out of my way to create a safe and creative space for actors in the audition room. It was no different on The Doors.”
On Monday during an interview with Andy Cohen, Gilbert claimed Stone sexually harassed her during the audition — which she said acted as a form of revenge for Gilbert having previously embarrassed him publicly.
“I ran out of a room crying,” she told Cohen during an interview on his radio show. Gilbert initially was reluctant to name the director because he is still a “big director,” but eventually admitted it was Stone during an audition for Meg Ryan’s role in The Doors.
“He had me read a scene, and then he said I’ve written this special scene for you. The whole scene was just my character on her hands and knees, saying ‘do me baby,’ really dirty, horrible,” she explained. “It was humiliating and horrid.”
Stone has already come under fire this fall for refusing to condemn Harvey Weinstein in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against the disgraced movie mogul. He later clarified the remarks. “I’ve been traveling for the last couple of days and wasn’t aware of all the women who came out to support the original story in the New York Times,” Stone wrote on Facebook. “After looking at what has been reported in many publications over the last couple of days, I’m appalled and commend the courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape. I’ll, therefore, recuse myself from the Guantanamo series as long as the Weinstein Company is involved.”
This is the second time the audition process for Stone’s The Doors has come under fire. In October, actress Caitlin O’Heaney claimed Val Kilmer hit her — an allegation Garcia denied. “It was way blown out of proportion,” she said. “I am not somebody who takes this stuff lightly. I can tell the difference between something that’s abusive and a moment that got carried away … but it was all in the context of the work. [O’Heaney had] a very extreme reaction to a situation that to me was not extreme at all.”