Dakota Johnson is speaking out about her grandmother Tippi Hedren‘s time working in Hollywood.
“She’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself. That’s what she did,” Johnson said. “[Alfred] Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her. He was never held accountable.”
Johnson sat down for a live taping of The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast where she said Hedren, who is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith, “was encouraging” of her when it came to pursuing an acting career despite the abuse she endured in the industry.
“It’s completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry,” Johnson continued, growing emotional.
“It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother.”
“I think the thing that she’s been so amazing for me and with my mother is just like, no you do not put up with that s— from anybody,” she said. “She would say it in a far more eloquent way. She’s such a glamorous movie star, still.”
Hedren opened up about her abuse from Hitchcock, who died in 1980, in her memoir, citing how the director would have his driver drive past her home and had once asked Hedren to “touch him” while they were working on The Birds.
She also shared how the director once tried to force her to kiss him in the back of a limo, writing in the book, “It was an awful, awful moment.”
Hedren revealed she did NOT tell anyone of the assault because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” in the early 1960s.
Hedren said another incident of abuse happened again when she worked with the filmmaker on Marnie, writing of one instance where he showed up at her dressing room and “put his hands on me.”
“It was sexual, it was perverse,” Hedren said of the abuse.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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