Dakota Johnson has spoken out about her grandmother Tippi Hedren’s claims of being sexually abused by Hollywood director Alfred Hitchcock, stating the filmmaker’s day of reckoning never occurred despite the allegations levelled against him.
The ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ star spoke out during a taping of The Hollywood Reporter’s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast where she spoke up about Hedren, the mother of actress Melanie Griffith.
“She’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself. That’s what she did” Johnson said. “[Alfred] Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorised her. He was never held accountable.”
Hedren, a Hollywood star during the 60s, starred to Hitchcock films, the 1963 film ‘The Birds’ as well as 1964’s ‘Marnie’. In her memoir ‘Tippi’, published in 2016, Hedren, 91, claimed she was sexually assaulted by Hitchcock several times during the making of both films.
“It’s completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry,” Johnson said during the podcast. “It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother.”
Hitchcock died in 1980 but the trauma of that time was recounted by Hedren in her memoir, where she wrote about the filmmaker having his driver go past her home on occasion while recounting that he had asked her to “touch him” during the making of ‘The Birds’.
She also said the director once tried to force her to kiss him in the back of a limo, while adding in her book that she didn’t tell anyone of the assault because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” in the early 1960s.