After actor Michael Douglas took the opportunity in an interview to deny sexual assault allegations that had yet to even surface, the accusations in question have come out.
The Hollywood Reporter published a detailed account of the allegations against Oscar-winner Douglas, who pre-emptively told the media last week that they are unequivocally false and he cannot understand why they are only coming out now.
Susan Braudy, a journalist, and author who worked for Douglas's production company in the late 80s released detailed files she kept from that time. These files showcase how the actor, among other things, used profane language in the work environment and masturbated in front of her during a meeting in his apartment.
She describes in grave detail how, midway through their conversation, Douglas unzipped his pants while continuing to discuss the movie in question. Braudy felt immediately that something was wrong.
"To my horror that he was rubbing his private parts. Within seconds his voice cracked and it appeared to me he'd had an orgasm," Braudy's written account alleges.
Braudy ran out of the room and straight to the elevator where Douglas caught up with her and thanked her for helping him out. The Oscar-winning actor frequently made inappropriate comments about how Braudy dressed, suggesting her style wasn't sexy enough.
He also joked to a group of agents that she looked like someone who "screams in the sack." When Braudy asked Douglas to stop talking about her like that, he reportedly laughed in response.
Following the masturbation incident, Braudy was asked by Douglas to sign a confidentiality agreement, something she took as a sign that he was preparing to release her from her job. Urged by her lawyer not to sign anything, Braudy was able to put it off for six months before ultimately being fired in late 1989.
Douglas responded via his lawyer, describing the allegations as "an unfortunate and complete fabrication."
He utilized Braudy's public standing as a vocal feminist and women's rights advocate to poke holes in her story. He also suggested that she didn't speak up at the time because there was nothing to speak up about. Douglas maintains he never acted inappropriately with her and pointed out that there's a huge difference between "coarse language or overheard private conversations" and sexual harassment.
In his preemptive interview with Deadline, Douglas stressed that he hadn't heard from Braudy in 30 plus years, stressing that these allegations should have come out sooner if they are in fact true. He also stated that Braudy may be attacking him because she's disappointed her career didn't go the way she was hoping it would.
His wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, stood by Douglas again in an interview with People before the allegations came out while simultaneously heralding the #MeToo movement.
Braudy was not surprised by Douglas's response, noting that part of the issue is "his pretext of victimization." She reckons this reaction is the reason many women don't come forward with their stories and the same one that kept her quiet for 30 years.
Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff, with whom Braudy claims she discussed the masturbation incident, corroborated her story. Wolff said they had talked about it several times over the years, along with Douglas's relentlessly horrible and sexualized behavior in the workplace.