Tippi Hedren, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and “Marnie,” claims the director stalked and sexually assaulted and harassed her when she worked with him in the 1960s.
In an excerpt from her new memoir “Tippi,” obtained by the New York Post, Hedren details her relationship with Hitchcock in the ’60s, after she moved from New York City to Los Angeles following her divorce from Peter Griffith. Hitchcock, who died in 1980, tracked her down after seeing her in a commercial for meal replacement shakes, and signed her to a five-year movie contract.
After that, Hedren alleges, Hitchcock developed an unhealthy relationship with the actress. While working on 1963’s “The Birds,” the role that shot Hedren to stardom, Hedren claims that he was extremely possessive of her, warning her castmates, including co-star Rod Taylor, not to “touch her.” She claims that if Hitchcock even saw her talking to another man, he would give her an “expressionless, unwavering stare … even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage.”
Hedren further claims that Hitchcock would stalk her, telling his driver to pass by her home, and detailed an incident in which he allegedly tried to kiss her in the back of his limo. “It was an awful, awful moment,” she writes.
The alleged abuse reportedly continued on the set of their next movie together, “Marnie,” where Hedren says Hitchcock had a door installed that connected his office to her dressing room. On that set, Hedren says Hitchcock entered her dressing room and tried to “put his hands on me.”
“It was sexual, it was perverse,” she writes. “The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became.”
She writes that she didn’t tell anyone of the alleged abuse because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” at the time.
It’s not the first time, however, Hedren has spoken out about Hitchcock’s behavior. HBO’s 2012 film “The Girl” detailed the darker side of their relationship, and Hedren previously gave interviews describing his apparent obsession with her. “He was a misogynist,” she told the New York Times in 2012. “I think he had a whole lot of problems.”
“Tippi” will be released on Nov. 1.