Another week, another ugly allegation of sexual assault against a Hollywood star, this time tough-guy actor Tom Sizemore who is accused of sexually molesting an 11-year-old actress on a movie set in 2003.
The Hollywood Reporter posted a story late Monday recounting how Sizemore, then 42, allegedly was told to leave the Utah set of a crime thriller called Born Killers (shot as Piggy Banks) after the child actress told her mother that Sizemore had touched her genitals during a photo shoot for the film.
But her parents declined to press charges and months later, Sizemore returned for reshoots in Malibu. THR said the story was based on interviews with a dozen people involved with the production who confirmed that Sizemore was sent home over the alleged incident, and that it provoked anger and tensions on the set.
Sizemore, 55, already notorious in Hollywood for his drug use and convictions for battery against women, has never been accused of molestation before.
He is best known for his roles in action films and dramas, especially Saving Private Ryan in 1998 and Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor in 2001. Despite his rap sheet, he has worked steadily; his IMDb page lists 15 projects in 2018 alone.
This incident has previously gone unreported, THR reported, but is coming out now in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment-and-rape scandal, which has set off a cascade of similar allegations and a belated industry move towards openness about such accusations.
USA TODAY reached out to Sizemore's representatives but has received no response. His agent, Stephen Rice, told the industry trade paper, "Our position is 'no comment.'"
Charles Lago of DTLA Entertainment Group, who was Sizemore's former manager for a half-dozen years until Lago dropped him in disgust after he was accused of beating women, said he was "not surprised" by the allegation. He blamed Sizemore's behavior on frequent drug use.
"He's the most abhorrent person I've ever met in my life," Lago said, although this alleged incident happened before he worked with Sizemore. "I heard something happened on the set but I didn't realize it involved a child. It was hushed up."
The young actress, now 26, was unidentified at her request; she told THR she didn't want to talk about the matter except to say that she's recently hired a lawyer to explore legal action against the actor as well as her parents.
THR reported Sizemore is said to have denied the young actress' claim as soon as he was confronted with it; shortly after, he was quietly dropped by his management firm and talent agency.
The promotional photo session required the child, who had a small role in the film, to be seated on Sizemore's lap for a holiday picture.
"This is when Sizemore allegedly either rubbed his finger against the girl's vagina or inserted it inside," THR reported. The paper quoted production manager Cassidy Lunnen recalling that the "the girl was so young it was unclear to her and (later) her parents what had actually taken place and if it was intentional or not."
The paper also interviewed Robyn Adamson, who portrayed the wife in the film, who stood near the photographer when the picture was being taken. She recalled the child, who was wearing a flannel nightgown, reacted to something during the photoshoot.
"At one point her eyes got just huge, like she could've vomited," Adamson told the paper. "I was watching her. She soon reintegrated and kept going, although she had trouble taking direction. Later, when I was told about what happened, I knew exactly what it was."
When casting director Catrine McGregor heard about the alleged encounter from the child's agent, she filed a complaint with the Screen Actors Guild legal department and pushed for Sizemore's immediate dismissal from the project. (SAG declined to comment to THR.)
The paper also talked to a production assistant, Roi Maufas, who said the crew believed what the child said because they considered Sizemore a "sleazebag."
"There was never any doubt," Maufas said. "He was this guy who was already known for making inappropriate comments, being drunk, being high. We're talking about consistent behavior, just being 'Tom Sizemore' on set every day. Then this happens. Guys reached for hammers."
The producers of the film told THR they removed Sizemore from the set as soon as they heard about the assertion, reviewed the photographs from the portrait session but found them to be inconclusive, and suggested to the child's parents they could contact police if they wanted.
"They did talk to the police but didn't press charges," producer Michael Manshel told the paper. "We also talked to Tom at the time, and told him everything that had been told to us, and he said: 'I've done a lot of awful things, and I'd never do anything with kids.' We considered whether we had some responsibility to him to not pass judgment on him."