Jeremy Piven denies allegation of sexual harassment in wake of Weinstein scandal
Actor Jeremy Piven has denied “appalling allegations” against him after he became the latest Hollywood figure to be accused of sexual harassment in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s downfall.
Actress Ariane Bellamar accused the Mr Selfridge star of groping her on two occasions, once on the set of the Emmy winner’s show Entourage, and again at the Playboy Mansion.
It was the latest allegation in a scandal that has rocked Hollywood, with several stars facing accusations of inappropriate behaviour, including Kevin Spacey and film-maker James Toback.
In a statement on Tuesday, Piven, 52, said: “I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me.
“It did not happen. It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard.”
Bellamar, who is credited for roles in Suicide Squad and The Hangover Part III, used Twitter on Monday to detail the alleged harassment.
“Jeremy Piven, on two occasions, cornered me & forcefully fondled my breasts & bum. Once at the mansion & once on set,” she wrote.
Network CBS, which broadcasts Piven’s latest series Wisdom Of The Crowd, said it was “aware of the media reports and (is) looking into the matter”.
HBO, which aired Entourage, said the press reports were the first it had heard of the allegations, adding it has a “zero tolerance” policy on sexual harassment.
On Tuesday, it was announced that production would halt on the sixth season of House Of Cards after an allegation was made against its star Spacey, 58.
Actor Anthony Rapp said he was 14 when a 26-year-old Spacey made a sexual advance on him in the older actor’s apartment in 1986.
The two-time Oscar winner was met with widespread condemnation when he chose to come out as gay in a statement where he apologised to Rapp and said he could not remember the alleged incident.
Meanwhile, stars including Julianne Moore, Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams were among a reported 200 women who made allegations of sexual harassment against Toback, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing 1991’s Bugsy.
Toback, 72, denied to The Los Angeles Times the accounts of the initial 38 women who spoke to the paper, but could not be contacted for comment on subsequent allegations.
Weinstein was sacked from The Weinstein Company, the studio he co-founded with his younger brother, and is facing police investigations in London, Los Angeles and New York.
Seven women in the UK have made allegations to the police of sexual assault against the disgraced movie mogul, who has denied all claims of non-consensual sex.