A Los Angeles casting director who once worked for the CBS hit procedural “CSI” is now at the center of a swirl of sexual harassment allegations after five women came forward to accuse him of using his position to manipulate them into disrobing in front of him.
Andy Henry was reportedly fired from his own firm in 2008 because of the allegations, but they only came to light this week amid the #MeToo movement born of the sexual harassment scandals that are currently sweeping show business, noted The Hollywood Reporter.
The incidents took place during paid evening audition classes Henry taught, with the accusers’ stories unveiling a pattern of Henry’s twisted behavior.
“His line was, ‘It’s a really challenging scene and I can tell you can handle it, but it definitely requires more work than what we do here. Do you have any time to stay afterward to push a little harder with [the material]?’” said Jenny Kern, who had attended one of Henry’s sessions.
Once she had been isolated, Kern was instructed to repeat the scene several more times. Henry grew more displeased with each take and eventually suggested that Kern remove her bra to better get in touch with the character. When that didn’t work, Henry “incrementally asked me to take my clothes off.”
“He started saying things, improvising as this detective character: ‘I can see your tits,’ ‘I can see you shave your pussy.’ He did it until I finally cried,” Kern recalled.
Another accuser, Tessa Goss, described an almost identical run-in with Henry that saw her pay $45 to read for a role. Once in the workshop, Goss realized that Henry was only pretending to be frustrated with her performance as a ruse to get her to take off her clothing.
“His thing was that [the performance] would feel more authentic if you can feel your nipples against your clothes,” she said. “I thought, ‘I need to get out of here.’ But there’s also this sick actor part of me that thought, ‘I need to get out of here as friends.’”
In a statement to THR, Henry apologized for the incidents but maintained that they had artistic merit.
“I took responsibility right away for using nudity as a technique to explore the vulnerability portrayed in a scene, without being cognizant of the potential damage to the human being in the room,” he said in part. He also claimed that the allegations ruined his marriage, sent him into financial ruin, and led him to discover the Jewish faith.