Alfred Hitchcock’s relationships with his leading ladies have long been the source of controversy. Tippi Hedren, who was discovered by the filmmaker in a commercial and went on to star in his “The Birds” and “Marnie,” has written in her upcoming book “Tippi: A Memoir” that Hitchcock repeatedly sexually harassed her during her six months making “The Birds,” reports the New York Post.
In “Tippi,” which is being released on Tuesday, the actress states that castmates were told not to socialize with her or “touch The Girl”; whenever Hitchcock caught sight of her laughing or even talking with a man, he would become “petulant” and “icy” and look at her with an “expressionless, unwavering stare…even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage.”
Once, she writes, he attempted to forcibly kiss her while the two were in his limo. Though this was “an awful, awful moment,” she felt there was little she could do because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” at the time and she knew the studio considered him more important than her. Hedren, who turned 86 this year, went on to receive a Golden Globe for her performance.
Things were little improved while making “Marnie” the following year, she continues, as Hitchcock installed a secret door between his office and her dressing room. Eventually the director found his way into her room and “put his hands on me. It was sexual, it was perverse…the harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became.” In the more than 50 years since these experiences, Hedren says she has “made it my mission ever since to see to it that while Hitchcock may have ruined my career, I never gave him the power to ruin my life.”