Jeffrey Tambor accuser says actor watched her sleep 'naked'
Van Barnes, Jeffrey Tambor’s former assistant, came forward on Megyn Kelly Today to detail the sexual misconduct allegations she made against the actor in November. According to Barnes, Tambor had watched her as she slept naked in bed one night while they worked together on Amazon’s Transparent.
“During job negotiation times, when we were getting ready for the next project, he would start making comments, about, ‘Well why haven’t we slept together?’” Barnes recalled in an interview that aired Wednesday. “And it wasn’t just a one-time joke. It would be three times a week.”
On one such such occasion, she told Tambor she wasn’t comfortable with her body, to which he allegedly responded, “Well, I’m comfortable with your body,” and “I’ve seen you naked.”
“When we first started working together, we had lived together for two weeks in this slight immersion,” explained Barnes, who said she wanted to share her experience as a trans woman to help Tambor in his role. “It was under this guise that he needed a place to stay, which, looking back, is very suspicious. And he said that, in the middle of the night, he actually watched me sleep.”
Barnes further clarified that Tambor said he watched her sleep “naked,” and called his actions “violating” and “so creepy.”
“This is a man that I put my trust in,” Barnes added.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barnes couldn’t initially detail the misconduct allegations due to a non-disclosure agreement that she signed. Her lawyer, Alana Chazan, has since clarified to EW, “Mr. Tambor chose to nullify the NDA when he publicly, and without her consent, identified Van Barnes to the press.”
A rep for Tambor did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment, but the actor said at the time that Barnes first made these claims in a private Facebook message, “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 person I have ever worked with.”
Barnes’ allegations prompted an internal investigation at Amazon. It was during this time that Transparent guest star Trace Lysette came forward with additional claims about Tambor saying he wanted to “attack [her] sexually” and, in a separate incident, rubbing up against her in an inappropriate manner.
“I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with,” Tambor said in a statement issued after Lysette’s accusations. “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. 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.”
Lysette’s allegations were then included in Amazon’s investigation, and Tambor was officially fired from Transparent in February.
“We are grateful to the many trans people who have supported our vision for Transparent since its inception and remain heartbroken about the pain and mistrust their experience has generated in our community,” series creator Jill Soloway said at the time. “We are taking definitive action to ensure our workplace respects the safety and dignity of every individual, and are taking steps to heal as a family.”
Barnes called Tambor’s firing “just,” considering the environment of “a male-driven Hollywood.” Although, she remarked, “They haven’t completed the whole process of helping me stand back up on my feet.”