When Anastasia Taneie was in her early twenties, she labored as a background actor on a lot of TV reveals. It was uninteresting however regular work that she might depend on for a paycheck, and, if she bought fortunate, might probably result in larger roles. On the age of 23, the Los Angeles space resident booked a gig on Entourage, HBO’s hit collection a few rising film star, his group of longtime associates, and pugnacious energy agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Piven’s function earned him a number of Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
However it was on the set of Entourage in April 2009, Taneie, now 30, advised BuzzFeed Information, that Piven grabbed her breasts and genitals in a darkish hallway as he forcefully pushed her up in opposition to a wall. It was an expertise that she stated has haunted her for years.
“I used to be scared on the time no person was going to imagine me. I didn’t need to make a scene. I simply wished to go residence,” she stated. “It was essentially the most horrible factor I’ve ever skilled.”
Taneie is one in all three girls who advised BuzzFeed Information that they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted by Jeremy Piven. Their experiences span again so far as 1995, when one girl stated she needed to combat Piven off when he pinned her down in her Los Angeles front room. In 2003, one other girl stated he pressured himself on prime of her in a New York lodge room and masturbated.
BuzzFeed Information additionally spoke to a dozen individuals over a number of weeks who stated the ladies had shared their tales with them both on the time or within the years since. A few of these individuals requested to stay nameless, citing both the business affect Piven wields or the will to not be related to the eye connected to accusing a outstanding Hollywood determine, however most selected to be named.
After being approached by BuzzFeed Information about these allegations on Nov. 14, Piven strongly denied all of the claims on this story, as he has with earlier sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to him. “Let me be completely clear, this merely didn’t occur,” he advised BuzzFeed Information in a press release via his attorneys. “I’d by no means drive myself on a girl. I can not communicate as to why an individual would create a narrative like this.”
By his representatives, he threatened to pursue authorized motion and demanded the ladies on this story take a polygraph check.
Piven’s representatives additionally supplied to BuzzFeed Information outcomes of a polygraph check they stated he took on Nov. 13. Within the check, Piven stated he had by no means grabbed a girl’s genitals with out her consent or used drive to take sexual benefit of a girl. He was additionally requested particularly about two of the ladies on this story, Amy Meador and Tiffany Bacon Scourby, and denied any wrongdoing. He stated all of the claims of sexual misconduct in opposition to him have been false. In keeping with the examiner, Piven handed the check. The examiner didn’t return a request for touch upon Wednesday.
Shortly earlier than this story’s publication, a spokesperson for Piven stated one of many accusers, Meador, wished to talk with BuzzFeed Information to personally retract her story.
Piven himself then known as these reporters straight (the actor by no means stated the telephone name was off the file). “I do know that is unorthodox, I actually do and on the similar time I felt this needed to be completed,” he stated. “We’re dwelling in occasions the place there are actual victims on the market and we have to give attention to it, and this can be a scenario the place I needed to take issues into my very own arms and I needed to step up and take this lie detector check as a result of it’s extremely necessary to get the reality out.”
He additionally requested for time for Meador to contact BuzzFeed Information to retract her story. “You guys have completed your due diligence,” he stated. “However I simply need you to attend whilst you obtain her info.”
Nonetheless, reached by phone, Meador disputed this and stated she wished to proceed. (Piven’s spokesperson didn’t reply to an electronic mail stating that Meador nonetheless wished to share her story).
Piven then known as a second time (as soon as once more, he didn’t request the decision be off the file). He requested for one hour to ship “paperwork” that may “communicate for themselves,” however he repeatedly declined to specify the character of the fabric he was providing. “The issue with me telling you is then it may be offered in a special mild versus you discovering these by yourself, then having your personal narrative which I would like you to have,” he stated.
He then stated he would name again in “one beat.” An hour handed, however neither Piven, nor his representatives, adopted up.
Taneie stated she adopted Piven after he struck up a dialog along with her and others throughout a filming break on location at a theater in downtown LA. Araceli Giacoman, one other background actor on the present that day, advised BuzzFeed Information she was additionally among the many group of ladies Piven had approached. “Then he stated one thing quietly to Anastasia and so they walked away, and he took her away,” Giacoman stated. “It regarded darkish down there.”
Taneie stated Piven advised her he and his supervisor wished to debate one thing along with her, however that after they have been alone he abruptly grabbed her and pushed her in opposition to a wall. That’s when she stated he then started to grope her chest and genitals.
Piven stopped solely when an assistant director occurred to stroll by, Taneie stated. The star then advised the AD to take away Taneie from the set as a result of he stated she got here on to him, she stated. (BuzzFeed Information contacted 5 ADs who labored on the set of the sixth season of Entourage for remark; two didn’t reply, two made preliminary contact then stopped responding, and one stated he had no remark.)
Giacoman stated she remembered being concerned that Taneie was gone longer than she anticipated, and she or he recalled Taneie wanting “somewhat distraught,” “scared,” and “shaken” when she returned to the holding room for extras. Andy Lobo, one other background actor on set that day, stated he remembered Taneie coming into the room crying and revealing to him that Piven pressured himself on her. Taneie’s mom, who requested to stay nameless as a result of she works within the leisure business, remembered her daughter calling her after she was pushed off set to her automobile. “She known as me frantic with what Jeremy Piven had completed to her. He cornered her,” Taneie’s mom stated. “She was crying on the telephone.”
Taneie advised BuzzFeed Information she by no means formally complained to anybody on the present. “I used to be scared on the time no person was going to imagine me,” she stated. “I didn’t need to make a scene. I simply wished to go residence.”
Contacted for remark, a consultant for HBO advised BuzzFeed Information, “We reviewed our data and didn’t obtain any complaints in opposition to Jeremy Piven on Entourage. HBO takes sexual harassment very severely and we make it a precedence to make sure that everybody experiences a protected and comfy work surroundings.”
Jason Rupe, who helped solid extras on Entourage between 2009 and 2011, advised BuzzFeed Information that he obtained complaints from a lot of girls who by no means wished to work on the present once more after being verbally harassed by males on the set “that have been always giving them a tough time [and saying] ‘Hey, you are cute,’ ‘Hey, you are sizzling, ‘Hey, come again to my trailer.’”
“I do keep in mind being fairly pissed off at one level and even perhaps telling one or two of the ADs, like, ‘Look, this shit’s gotta cease,’” Rupe stated. “These are nice actresses that match precisely what you are in search of, however they do not need to come again as a result of they’re getting hassled rather a lot.’”
After the New York Instances and the New Yorker reported about sexual harassment and assault allegations in opposition to producer Harvey Weinstein in early October, Ariane Bellamar — an actor and occasional actuality tv star — tweeted an accusation on Oct. 30 that Piven had groped her in his trailer on the Entourage set in 2005. (Piven has “unequivocally denied” Bellamar’s claims; within the polygraph check his representatives supplied, he denied all her claims and handed, per the examiner).
With greater than 800,000 followers, Bellamar’s tweets about Piven then emboldened different girls to come back ahead with tales — all of which Piven has emphatically denied.
Cassidy Freeman — an actor who’s appeared on Smallville, Knowledge of the Crowd, and Longmire — wrote that Piven exhibited predatory habits towards her. “I do know what you probably did and tried to do to me,” she stated in an Instagram put up.
Freeman didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark, however she spoke briefly about her allegations in opposition to Piven for the primary time on Nov. 11 to the Hollywood Reporter. “In fact he’ll deny it. I want that he would take accountability, however that is on him,” Freeman stated, including that she needs to open up extra about her story. “My want is that no different lady or girl must really feel terrified of him sooner or later.”
Promoting government Tiffany Bacon Scourby, 39, then shared her story with Individuals journal, saying she met Piven at a New York Metropolis lodge on the morning of Oct. three, 2003, after he invited her to accompany him to a taping for Late Evening With Conan O’Brien. (Piven did, in reality, seem on the present that evening). Bacon Scourby stated that after a couple of minutes of small speak in his room, Piven pinned her down, uncovered his genitals, and masturbated on her. She recounted operating from the room, rubbing his semen off her sweater, and calling a buddy from a cab.
“I keep in mind her calling me from the cab hysterically crying and going into graphic element about what had occurred,” the buddy, Jay Gutnick, advised BuzzFeed Information. “She was in shock.”
Two different longtime associates of Bacon Scourby, Kristi Kelly and Kimiya Roesser, additionally advised BuzzFeed Information that she advised them concerning the incident on the time.
Reached by telephone, Bacon Scourby declined to be interviewed for this story on the recommendation of her lawyer (Piven’s consultant had advised Individuals he was taking a look at authorized choices) however supplied a press release to BuzzFeed Information once more asserting she was sexually assaulted by Piven.
“I deeply remorse that I didn’t come ahead instantly after the assault occurred,” she stated, including she had determined to share her story now due to Piven’s denial of Bellamar’s claims.
“I remorse that if I had shared my story sooner, I’ll have been capable of defend different girls,” she stated.
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Taneie stated she, too, was nervous about coming ahead on the time as a result of she didn’t suppose anybody would imagine her. Nonetheless, she stated the current avalanche of sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood had impressed her to come back ahead. (Taneie additionally shared her story on Friday in a Fb Reside video.)
“I’ve children and I simply need one much less monster off the road,” Taneie stated. “And Harvey Weinstein got here to justice, why not Jeremy Piven too?”
Taneie was additionally cautious of sharing her story for concern of not being believed because of a 180-day jail sentence she served in 2010 after pleading no contest to at least one depend of first-degree residential housebreaking. (Representatives for Piven did level to Taneie’s prison historical past as proof of her alleged unreliability. She advised BuzzFeed Information she was harmless of the cost however had trusted the incorrect individuals — “all people makes errors” — and couldn’t afford to combat the case in courtroom.)
“As a result of some individuals have a previous, like a prison file … it makes girls not need to say something, even when they did get damage,” Taneie stated. “They don’t need to say something after which get judged for one thing that has nothing to do with the scenario, and so they take a look at them as liars.”
Girls’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred advised BuzzFeed Information that some girls who expertise sexual harassment or assault concern not being believed due to “irrelevant and inaccurate, and even correct, assaults on them that could be irrelevant to their declare.”
“An individual doesn’t need to be a nun with a purpose to allege that she’s a sufferer,” Allred stated. “Most individuals are usually not nuns and by no means can be.”
In 1995, some 12 years earlier than Taneie got here to the Entourage set, Amy Meador says she was assaulted by Piven her at her then-home in Laurel Canyon.
Meador, now 45, advised BuzzFeed Information she met Piven at a espresso store in West Hollywood, the place they swapped telephone numbers and she or he gave him her tackle for a date. Piven had solely skilled delicate success at this level in his profession, together with a quick activate Seinfeld.
Piven by no means confirmed up for the scheduled date, Meador stated, till months later when he unexpectedly appeared at her residence, apologizing for ghosting on her and claiming he’d been ending issues with one other girl. “For those who’ve come to get laid, you’ve come to the incorrect door,” Meador stated she advised him. “Don’t waste your time. Nothing is going on right here.”
She stated Piven agreed to come back in with the understanding that they might simply watch TV. After sitting on her sofa collectively for about an hour, Meador stated Piven abruptly pressured himself on her. “It was simply the more durable I fought, the more durable he bought,” Meador stated.
Finally, she stated, she was capable of kick Piven off of her. When he bought up off the ground, she stated Piven locked himself in her rest room for about 20 minutes along with her telephone earlier than reemerging, and she or he lastly kicked him out.
She stated she nonetheless suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction on account of the incident.
Meador’s sister Lisa Meador, her longtime buddy Michelle Blake, and one other buddy from highschool who requested to stay nameless stated Meador advised them within the late ’90s concerning the incident. Her cousin and longtime buddy from elementary college, each of whom requested to be nameless, advised BuzzFeed Information that Meador additionally advised them within the late ’90s that Piven got here to her home, tried to pin her down, after which she broke free.
Whereas she’s been telling individuals in her private life this story for practically 20 years, Meador stated she wished to publicly share this now due to the response to allegations in opposition to Weinstein.
“I didn’t notice that by not coming ahead, I wasn’t defending another person,” she stated.
Marcus Jones additionally contributed reporting to this story.
Krystie Yandoli is an leisure editor for BuzzFeed Information and is predicated in New York.
Contact Krystie Lee Yandoli at [email protected]
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed Information in New York.
Contact David Mack at [email protected]
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