Three more women are accusing actor Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct, bringing the total to eight accusers, according to a report by Buzzfeed News today. Piven denied the accusations, and his lawyers have threatened legal action against the website, BuzzFeed writes.
In a written statement to the website, Piven says, “These allegations, which in one case goes back more than 30 years and the two others more than 20 years ago, are false. As evidenced by the lie detector test I took and passed, I have never forced myself on anyone, nor have I ever exposed myself or restrained anyone against their will. To the contrary, if any woman ever said no, I stopped.”
The latest accusations date from 1985, 1994 and 1996. The earliest account comes from Susan McCain Olson, who was in high school when she landed a job as an extra on the set of Lucas, the movie that would be the 17-year-old Piven’s first film role. Lucas also starred Charlie Sheen, Winona Ryder and Corey Haim.
McCain Olson tells BuzzFeed that Piven once followed her into a trailer, pinned her down on the sofa, climbed on top of her, and started to kiss her. Reports BuzzFeed, “She said he then tried to reach down her shorts and feel up her shirt.”
“At one point I kind of was like, ‘This is it, this is where I’m going to get raped,’” McCain Olson, now 51, says. “I kept trying to push him away. I was like, ‘No, get off me.’”
After she pushed Piven off, McCain Olson says, she left the trailer. “I saw him around after because we were on the same set but he never spoke to me,” she says. “Does it suck that it happened? Yes. Did it ruin my life? No. But he did it.”
The 1994 incident, described to BuzzFeed by a woman who asked not to be identified, allegedly occurred in Montreal, apparently while Piven was filming Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde there.
Now 46, the woman says she met Piven at a hair salon and agreed to show the actor around town. When she arrived at the hotel’s front desk, she was instructed to go to Piven’s room, where, she says, “he pinned her against the wall by grabbing her shoulders and arms while he tried to kiss her.
“She was able to push him off her and demanded to know what he was doing. She said he asked her what she came up to his room for,” BuzzFeed writes. “She opened the door and left. ‘I didn’t want to stick around to find out what else was going to happen,’ the woman said.”
The third incident allegedly occurred in 1996, when Diane Gonzalez was an extra on the set of the Ellen, the Ellen DeGeneres sitcom on which Piven was a co-star. Gonzalez describes a “consensual romantic encounter” that “quickly turned physically aggressive and left her feeling threatened.”
As Gonzalez describes to BuzzFeed, Piven “grabbed her and started to kiss her again, before picking her up, wrapping her legs around his waist, and taking her into his bedroom. When they got to his bedroom, Gonzalez said he tossed her on his bed, straddled himself on top of her, pinned her arms behind her head, and kissed her.”
“I think the threat was just how aggressive and how strong he became as he was holding me down. I just didn’t want it to get any worse,” Gonzalez says in the article. “I just kept telling myself, ‘Well, you’re alone, nobody knows where I’m at.’ It’s not like I told anybody I’m going to follow him home, so I kept telling myself, ‘Okay, you gotta play this smart now.’”
“I think the threat was just how aggressive and how strong he became as he was holding me down. I just didn’t want it to get any worse.” Gonzalez says she wriggled away from Piven, and the actor “started to belittle her and told her to leave.”
In a written statement to BuzzFeed, Piven says Gonzalez’s assertions “are not even physically possible. As one example, there is a claim that I grabbed the woman, started to kiss her, picked her up, and wrapped her legs around my waist. It is hard to understand how someone could hold a woman and at the same time wrap both of her legs around his waist without the consent of the woman.”
Piven’s lawyers told BuzzFeed that the women’s claims are “works of fiction” and the article was “conjured up in an opportunistic effort to capitalize on the current media storm in order to obtain attention and/or money.” They threatened legal action against the website and noted, when BuzzFeed published a story last November about other accusations against the actor, Piven provided the results of a polygraph test he had passed “in which Piven said he’d never grabbed a woman’s genitals without her consent or used force to take sexual advantage of a woman.”
After the earlier allegations, CBS announced that it had canceled Piven’s series Wisdom of the Crowd.