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Former co-stars of Jerry Lewis are accusing the late performer of sexual harassment and assault in a new documentary and exposé.
In the Vanity Fair chronicle, “The Hunting Ground” and “Allen v. Farrow” directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering speak with actresses Karen Sharpe and Hope Holiday who detail their alleged experiences with Lewis, who died in 2017 at age 91.
Recalling a time in 1964 when she was cast opposite Lewis in “The Disorderly Orderly,” Sharpe, now 87, alleges Lewis shooed a room of people out during a costume fitting, leaving her alone with him.
Sharpe maintains that Lewis “started moving in on me,” and that he “grabbed” her in the moment.
“He began to fondle me. He unzipped his pants,” she alleges. “Quite frankly, I was dumbstruck.”
Added Sharpe: “I put my hand up and said, ‘Wait a minute. I don’t know if this is a requirement for your leading ladies, but this is something I don’t do.’ I could see that he was furious. I got the feeling that that never really happened to him.”
The actress claimed that when she returned to the film set a few days later, Lewis had become standoffish and refused to see her, let alone rehearse lines with Sharpe. He would be seen with her only on camera. She also alleges that many crew members were instructed not to speak to her.
Hope Holiday explained a similar account from her own alleged experience with the late comedian. Holiday claimed it all went down when she was cast in Lewis’ 1961 flick, “The Ladies Man,” and she was invited by Lewis to his dressing room. She says in the article that things changed when he allegedly pressed a button that locked the door.
“Then he starts to talk to me: ‘Y’know, you could be very attractive but you wear pants all the time. I have never seen you in a skirt. You have nice legs and you’ve got good boobs,’” Holiday, now 91, explained of the alleged ordeal.
“Then he starts to talk to me about sex…He starts to talk dirty to me and as he’s talking, the pants open, and the ugly thing came out and he starts to j–k off. I was frightened. … I just sat there and I wanted to leave so badly,” she alleged.
Holiday said she ended up confronting Lewis the very next day when she arrived to set.
“I hit him so hard that I spun around. And I didn’t mean to,” she claimed. “Maybe down deep I did. But he walked off the set and sulked for an hour. He said I did it on purpose.” It was then that production was halted because Lewis was both the director and star.
“He finally came back and didn’t talk to me,” Holiday said. “He never spoke to me again.”
A family member of Lewis’ said they had no comment on the report when reached by Fox News Digital as they were unaware of the allegations levied against Lewis.
If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.