A SAG-AFTRA disciplinary committee has found actor Kip Pardue guilty of “serious misconduct” in relation to a sexual harassment complaint filed by actress Sarah Scott, who’d accused him of masturbating in front of her shortly after filming a scene together on the indie TV project Mogulettes. She also claimed that he became aroused and placed her hand on his crotch as they lay under the covers while waiting to film the scene.
In its notice of decision, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the committee told Pardue that it “censures and admonishes you for this inappropriate and unprofessional conduct.” It also fined him $6,000. Pardue denied the allegations. His attorney, Shepard Kopp, told the Times that Pardue “never engaged in any nonconsensual behavior.”
The union, which declined comment, held the disciplinary hearing on March 20. Scott reported the incident to the union in May 2018, just days after the alleged assault. She told the Times that while union officials were sympathetic, no one seemed in much of a hurry to address the situation.
She then reached out to SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, who told her via email that “I am making sure that this is reviewed as we continue developing best procedures and support systems.”
Scott filed a formal complaint with the union in June 2018, and two weeks later, received a questionnaire in the mail asking her to recount the incident and to provide the names of witnesses and documentary evidence. She filled it out and sent it back that same day. But by the end of August, she had heard nothing back from the union.
She filed a police report on Aug. 26, and then reached out again to Carteris, who told her she would review the status of the complaint. The next day, she was told her case would be heard by the guild’s disciplinary committee on Oct. 26. That hearing, however, was delayed until March 20.
And in a statement to the Times last October, Pardue said: “I clearly misread the situation during a sex scene on set and have apologized to Sarah. I never intended to offend her in any way and deeply regret my actions and have learned from my behavior.”
Scott told the Times that she has mixed feelings about how her case was handled. “Overall, I’m okay with it, but it’s a weird feeling,” she said. “I don’t know if I’m supposed to feel good about the punishment or not. I would have liked to have seen a couple of years’ suspension, but this is a step in the right direction. What was the most important for me was that others who come forward in the future know that the union is willing to take these complaints seriously and create a space where they can be heard.”