[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Dakota Johnson spoke out for the first time about the negative experiences her grandmother Tippi Hedren had while starring in some of Alfred Hitchcock’s most acclaimed films.
In case you didn’t know, the 91-year-old is most known for her lead roles in the director’s 1963 horror classic The Birds and 1964 psychological thriller Marnie. But behind the scenes of the movies, Hedren claimed she was facing horrific abuse at the hands of Hitchcock. According to People, the actress alleged that he sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions in her 2016 memoir, saying the filmmaker would often have his driver drive past her home at the time and once asked her to “touch him” while filming The Birds. Hedren also said Hitchcok tried kissing her in the back of a limo, writing:
“It was an awful, awful moment.”
Things only became worse when working on Marnie, as he stopped by her dress room at one point and “put his hands on me.” She recalled:
“It was sexual, it was perverse.”
However, when Hedren eventually spoke out about it, her career in Hollywood declined while Hitchcock’s career skyrocketed. Disgusting…
During a live taping of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, as reported by People, Johnson discussed the trauma her grandmother endured and the insight she learned from her about working in Hollywood. Despite her struggles throughout her career, The Fifty Shades of Grey alum said Hedren was always “encouraging” of her acting aspirations, explaining:
“She’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself. That’s what she did. [Alfred] Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her. He was never held accountable.”
Johnson then teared up as she continued recounting how Hedren’s experiences impacted her view of the industry, saying:
“It’s completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry. It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother.”
Nevertheless, The Social Network star said Hedren encouraged her and her mother, Melanie Griffith, to always stand up for themselves:
“I think the thing that she’s been so amazing for me and with my mother is just like, no you do not put up with that s**t from anybody. She would say it in a far more eloquent way. She’s such a glamorous movie star, still.”
We can only imagine how hard it was for Dakota to speak out about a difficult time in her grandmother’s life…
If you or someone you know has been sexually assault, please reach out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit rainn.org.
[Image via FayesVision/WENN]