Four Canadian television and stage actresses have filed separate civil lawsuits against actor Albert Schultz, according to a report by the CBC. The suits allege 30 separate incidents of sexual assault or harassment over the course of a 13-year period from 2000 to 2013. The misconduct occurred while the women were acting in productions with Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company during Schultz’s tenure as artistic director. The actresses are “Orphan Black” star Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley (Netflix’s “Frontier”), Hannah Miller (“Saving Hope”) and Patricia Fagan (“Murdoch Mysteries”).
“Albert is a serial sexual predator who…had well-developed methods for targeting actresses and luring them into situations that he considered optimal for sexually harassing and assaulting them,” according to a copy of the lawsuits obtained by the CBC.
Fagan’s suit alleges Schultz created a climate of “mocking, belittling and bullying,” which left her feeling “vulnerable and hunted.” During rehearsals for a Soulpepper production of “Twelfth Night” in 2000, Fagan says she “felt him push his penis against [her].” She also says Schultz grabbed her thigh under her skirt, and flashed his penis at her seconds before she went onstage. Booth’s claims are eerily similar to Fagan’s, detailing multiple instances of groping, unwanted kissing, and comments about her body by Schultz. Booth says Schultz would press his genitals against her during hugs, and comment on her “milky white breasts in front of the other cast members.”
Schultz is a prominent figure in the Canadian theater community and an executive producer of the CBC comedy “Kim’s Convenience.” He appeared in Part 6 of Netflix’s “Alias Grace,” in addition to many other Canadian television credits.
Neither Schultz nor Soulpepper has released a statement at this time. The CBC contacted three founding members of Soulpepper, who released a statement in support of the plaintiffs. “Sexual harassment in the workplace cannot be tolerated. By anyone,” the statement reads.
Further details can be found on the CBC website.