Jeremy Piven on the Season 6 premiere of Entourage in Los Angeles in 2009.
John Shearer / Getty Photographs
When Anastasia Taneie was in her early twenties, she labored as a background actor on numerous TV reveals. It was uninteresting however regular work that she might depend on for a paycheck, and, if she received fortunate, might doubtlessly result in larger roles. On the age of 23, the Los Angeles space resident booked a gig on Entourage, HBO’s hit collection a couple of 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.
Nevertheless it was on the set of Entourage in April 2009, Taneie, now 30, informed 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 mentioned has haunted her for years.
“I used to be scared on the time no one was going to consider me. I didn’t wish to make a scene. I simply needed to go residence,” she mentioned. “It was essentially the most horrible factor I’ve ever skilled.”
Taneie is one among three ladies who informed BuzzFeed Information that they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted by Jeremy Piven. Their experiences span again so far as 1995, when one girl mentioned she needed to combat Piven off when he pinned her down in her Los Angeles lounge. In 2003, one other girl mentioned he pressured himself on high of her in a New York resort room and masturbated.
BuzzFeed Information additionally spoke to a dozen individuals over a number of weeks who mentioned 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 trade affect Piven wields or the need to not be related to the eye hooked up to accusing a distinguished 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 informed BuzzFeed Information in an announcement by means of his legal professionals. “I might by no means pressure myself on a girl. I can’t communicate as to why an individual would create a narrative like this.”
By means of 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 mentioned he took on Nov. 13. Within the check, Piven mentioned he had by no means grabbed a girl’s genitals with out her consent or used pressure 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 mentioned all of the claims of sexual misconduct in opposition to him have been false. In response to 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 mentioned one of many accusers, Meador, needed to talk with BuzzFeed Information to personally retract her story.
Piven himself then referred to as these reporters instantly (the actor by no means mentioned the telephone name was off the document). “I do know that is unorthodox, I actually do and on the similar time I felt this needed to be executed,” he mentioned. “We're residing in occasions the place there are actual victims on the market and we have to deal with 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 essential to get the reality out.”
He additionally requested for time for Meador to contact BuzzFeed Information to retract her story. “You guys have executed your due diligence,” he mentioned. “However I simply need you to attend whilst you obtain her data.”
Nonetheless, reached by phone, Meador disputed this and mentioned she wished to proceed. (Piven's spokesperson didn’t reply to an electronic mail stating that Meador nonetheless needed to share her story).
Piven then referred to as a second time (as soon as once more, he didn’t request the decision be off the document). He requested for one hour to ship “paperwork” that will “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 introduced in a special mild versus you discovering these by yourself, then having your personal narrative which I would like you to have,” he mentioned.
He then mentioned he would name again in “one beat.” An hour handed, however neither Piven, nor his representatives, adopted up.
Piven on the Entourage set in March 2009.
Philip Ramey Pictures, Llc / Getty Photographs
Taneie mentioned she adopted Piven after he struck up a dialog together 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, informed BuzzFeed Information she was additionally among the many group of ladies Piven had approached. “Then he mentioned one thing quietly to Anastasia they usually walked away, and he took her away,” Giacoman mentioned. “It appeared darkish down there.”
Taneie mentioned Piven informed her he and his supervisor needed to debate one thing together with her, however that once they have been alone he instantly grabbed her and pushed her in opposition to a wall. That’s when she mentioned he then started to grope her chest and genitals.
Piven stopped solely when an assistant director occurred to stroll by, Taneie mentioned. The star then informed the AD to take away Taneie from the set as a result of he mentioned she got here on to him, she mentioned. (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 mentioned he had no remark.)
Giacoman mentioned she remembered being concerned that Taneie was gone longer than she anticipated, and she or he recalled Taneie trying “a bit distraught,” “scared,” and “shaken” when she returned to the holding room for extras. Andy Lobo, one other background actor on set that day, mentioned 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 trade, remembered her daughter calling her after she was pushed off set to her automobile. “She referred to as me frantic with what Jeremy Piven had executed to her. He cornered her,” Taneie’s mom mentioned. “She was crying on the telephone.”
Taneie informed BuzzFeed Information she by no means formally complained to anybody on the present. “I used to be scared on the time no one was going to consider me,” she mentioned. “I didn’t wish to make a scene. I simply needed to go residence.”
Contacted for remark, a consultant for HBO informed BuzzFeed Information, “We reviewed our information and didn’t obtain any complaints in opposition to Jeremy Piven on Entourage. HBO takes sexual harassment very significantly and we make it a precedence to make sure that everybody experiences a secure and cozy work setting.”
Jason Rupe, who helped forged extras on Entourage between 2009 and 2011, informed BuzzFeed Information that he obtained complaints from numerous ladies who by no means needed to work on the present once more after being verbally harassed by males on the set “that have been continually giving them a tough time [and saying] 'Hey, you're cute,’ ‘Hey, you're scorching, ‘Hey, come again to my trailer.’”
“I do bear in mind being fairly annoyed at one level and even possibly telling one or two of the ADs, like, 'Look, this shit's gotta cease,’” Rupe mentioned. “These are nice actresses that match precisely what you're on the lookout for, however they don't wish to come again as a result of they're getting hassled quite a bit.’”
Piven in 2009.
Matt Sayles / AP
After the New York Times 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 ladies 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 conduct towards her. “I do know what you probably did and tried to do to me,” she said in an Instagram post.
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's going to disclaim it. I want that he would take duty, however that's on him,” Freeman mentioned, including that she desires to open up extra about her story. “My want is that no different lady or girl must really feel frightened of him sooner or later.”
Promoting government Tiffany Bacon Scourby, 39, then shared her story with People magazine, saying she met Piven at a New York Metropolis resort 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, the truth is, seem on the present that night). Bacon Scourby mentioned 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 bear in mind her calling me from the cab hysterically crying and going into graphic element about what had occurred,” the buddy, Jay Gutnick, informed BuzzFeed Information. “She was in shock.”
Two different longtime associates of Bacon Scourby, Kristi Kelly and Kimiya Roesser, additionally informed BuzzFeed Information that she informed 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 informed Individuals he was authorized choices) however supplied an announcement 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 came about,” she mentioned, 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 in a position to shield different ladies,” she mentioned.
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Taneie mentioned she, too, was nervous about coming ahead on the time as a result of she didn’t suppose anybody would consider her. Nonetheless, she mentioned the latest avalanche of sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood had impressed her to come back ahead. (Taneie additionally shared her story on Friday in a Fb Stay video.)
“I’ve youngsters and I simply need one much less monster off the road,” Taneie mentioned. “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 resulting from a 180-day jail sentence she served in 2010 after pleading no contest to 1 depend of first-degree residential housebreaking. (Representatives for Piven did level to Taneie’s prison historical past as proof of her alleged unreliability. She informed 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 court docket.)
“As a result of some individuals have a previous, like a prison document … it makes ladies not wish to say something, even when they did get damage,” Taneie mentioned. “They don’t wish to say something after which get judged for one thing that has nothing to do with the scenario, they usually take a look at them as liars.”
Girls's rights lawyer Gloria Allred informed BuzzFeed Information that some ladies who expertise sexual harassment or assault concern not being believed due to “irrelevant and inaccurate, and even correct, assaults on them which may be irrelevant to their declare.”
“An individual doesn’t need to be a nun to be able to allege that she’s a sufferer,” Allred mentioned. “Most individuals aren’t nuns and by no means will likely be.”
Piven on Oct. 31, 2017.
Daniel Zuchnik / WireImage
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, informed 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 gentle success at this level in his profession, together with a short activate Seinfeld.
Piven by no means confirmed up for the scheduled date, Meador mentioned, 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. “If you happen to’ve come to get laid, you’ve come to the incorrect door,” Meador mentioned she informed him. “Don’t waste your time. Nothing is occurring right here.”
She mentioned Piven agreed to come back in with the understanding that they’d simply watch TV. After sitting on her sofa collectively for about an hour, Meador mentioned Piven instantly pressured himself on her. “It was simply the more durable I fought, the more durable he received,” Meador mentioned.
Finally, she mentioned, she was in a position to kick Piven off of her. When he received up off the ground, she mentioned Piven locked himself in her lavatory for about 20 minutes together with her telephone earlier than reemerging, and she or he lastly kicked him out.
She mentioned she nonetheless suffers from post-traumatic stress dysfunction because of the incident.
Meador’s sister Lisa Meador, her longtime buddy Michelle Blake, and one other buddy from highschool who requested to stay nameless mentioned Meador informed them within the late ’90s concerning the incident. Her cousin and longtime buddy from elementary college, each of whom requested to be nameless, informed BuzzFeed Information that Meador additionally informed 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 twenty years, Meador mentioned she needed 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 mentioned.
Marcus Jones additionally contributed reporting to this story.