Jane Seymour almost quit acting after being sexually harassed by a powerful producer
'It stopped me from being an actress a whole year and I could've quit the profession completely'
Jane Seymour has come forward with a story of sexual harassment from early in her career.
The Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman star revealed to Australian TV morning show Sunrise on Tuesday that her experiences with a powerful producer her first time auditioning in Hollywood almost prompted her to quit acting altogether.
“I’ve often wondered if I should tell this story,” she began. Seymour explained how she came to Hollywood to make a screen test and while there was invited by another producer to come to his house for a screening. Her agent advised her to take the meeting, explaining the producer would show her the first screen test.
“So I went to the house expecting to see lots of other people there,” she explained. “There was no one there. He showed me the screen test I’d done and sat down next to me and he said, ‘Well, I’ve told everyone you’re perfect for my movie and I can’t wait. I’ve told everyone. I’ve done my bit. Now it’s your turn to do your bit.’ And I looked at him very innocently and said, ‘Oh, yes, I’m going to do a great screen test for you in a day and a half.’ And he said, ‘No, no, you know what you have to do.’ And I go, ‘No, I don’t.'”
Seymour said at that moment the producer put his hand high up on her thigh. “Being very British, I crossed my legs and started scooting down the couch until there was no couch left and I really had no option but to stand up and say, ‘Please help me get home.’ Well, I’d gone there by cab, so I had to call a cab, so you can imagine I was waiting there in the foyer with a man who made it quite clear that he was expecting [me to do] whatever. And he basically threatened me.”
“He was the most powerful man in Hollywood at that time,” Seymour said. She explained that he told her not only could she not speak of the harassment, but that she had to lie about ever being at his house.
“You’ll never work ever again anywhere on the planet,” she said the producer threatened. The incident deeply upset Seymour and caused her to quit acting for a year.
“The fact that it stopped me from being an actress a whole year and I could’ve quit the profession completely shows you how devastating it was to me,” she said.
Seymour did eventually return to acting, breaking out as a Bond girl opposite Roger Moore in 1973’s Live and Let Die and going on to headline the hit television show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
Watch Seymour’s full interview here.