In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday, costume designer Susan Bertram has accused “Prison Break” star Robert Knepper of sexual assault on the set of the 1992 Allison Anders film “Gas Food Lodging.”
Bertram decided to come forward, in part, after learning in late 2016 about leaked “Access Hollywood” tape of a conversation between Billy Bush and Donald Trump.
“I kind of buried it for a long time until Trump came out with his ‘Grab ‘em by the pussy’ thing,” she said to THR. “When that happened, I started reeling.”
Bertram’s own assault story echoes Trump’s words on the infamous tape. While dropping off some clothes for the actor, Bertram claims Knepper reached under her dress and grabbed her crotch. He then allegedly shoved Bertram against a wall and told her, “I’m going to fuck your brains out.”
The costume designer said she pushed him off, shouting, “I’m working, I’m working!” She ran to a bathroom, locked the door, and learned she was bleeding as a result of the assault.
Bertram then confided in her assistant at the time, Dominique DuBois, who corroborated the story to THR. According to DuBois, neither woman felt empowered to say much.
“Even if I had said something, what were they going to do? Fire their lead actor?” Bertram said. She added that “a lot has changed in the last few weeks.”
Since bombshell reports from the New York Times and The New Yorker in October exposed decades of harassment by producer Harvey Weinstein, there’s been a surge of sexual assault victims coming forward both to the media as well as via a #MeToo campaign on social media. In that time, a number of other men in the entertainment and media industries have been accused of harassment or assault, including actors Kevin Spacey and Steven Seagal, directors James Toback and Brett Ratner, and former head of Amazon Studios Roy Price.
Representatives for Bertram, Knepper and Anders did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
You can read Bertram’s full account of the incident on THR.