Actresses say veteran 'CSI' casting employee coerced them into disrobing

Andy Henry, a veteran casting employee on CSI, was fired from the show and his own firm in 2008 after it came to light that he'd urged actresses seeking co-starring roles to disrobe during private, paid auditioning sessions, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Some of them did so, feeling compelled to please a key gatekeeper for entry-level parts.

The situation has never been publicly disclosed. Henry has gone on to work on major studio films, including as a casting associate on Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Descendants, The Amazing Spider-Man and Elysium.

Five women — who recently found each other and elected to come forward after one posted online about her experience as part of the #MeToo movement that grew out of the Harvey Weinstein abuse revelations — tell THR that they felt systematically preyed on. They say Henry always utilized the same scene from a 2006 episode of the procedural, involving a woman suffering from hypertrichosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes excess hair growth (commonly referred to as "human werewolf syndrome"), and that he manipulated their anxious desire to impress a hiring professional.

Andy Henry

In a statement to THR, Henry admits to what he describes as "foolish and foolhardy" behavior, framing it as "a coaching technique" gone wrong, one meant "to explore the vulnerability portrayed in a scene" that was blind to "the potential damage to the human being in the room." He adds both that "I was then, and remain to this day, profoundly sorry about these incidents," and that "I never meant to make anyone feel pressured into doing anything, nor did I ever consciously intend to hurt anyone."

The women describe nearly identical scenarios in which Henry would target female attendees at paid evening audition classes he taught at workshop facilities around Los Angeles, explaining that they showed special promise and he'd be willing to further coach them one-on-one immediately afterward. (The proliferation of such pay-to-play sessions has recently drawn the attention of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, who has indicted more than two dozen casting professionals for illegally conducting them under a state talent scam prevention law earlier this year. The crackdown has so far resulted in a number of plea deals.)

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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Amber Anderson said Harvey Weinstein 'behaved inappropriately' and bragged about other actresses he had 'helped' in exchange for sexual favors.
Natassia Malthe has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room. On a separate occasion, after she was assured that Weinstein would not come onto her, she was allegedly escorted to Weinstein's hotel room by an assistant. In the room was another woman, who performed oral sex on Weinstein whil he asked Malthe to join.
Lupita Nyong'o wrote a detailed essay for the New York Times recounting multiple incidents with Weinstein, including an evening during which he asked her to give him a nude massage while his family was in the same home.
Marisa Coughlan said that she planned to meet Weinstein for a meeting at his hotel. Instead, he requested a massage.

Heather Graham said Weinstein told her he had an agreement with his wife that allowed him to sleep with whomever he wants. He then asked him to meet her to discuss a film project at his hotel, falsely telling her that her friend would also be present. She declined.

French actress Judith Godreche has accused Weinstein of inappropriately pressing up against her, trying to remove her sweater and asking for a massage.

Lauren Holly said that during a seemingly normal meeting with Weinstein to discuss a project, he began disrobing, got into the shower, and went to the bathroom while continuing to converse with her. He then allegedly asked her for a massage. She fled. 
Angie Everhart said that she was sleeping in her own cabin on a yacht when Harvey Weinstein entered, blocked the door and began masturbating. He told her not to tell anyone, but she "told everyone," including many actors and producers. In response, most told her that it was just Harvey being Harvey. In an interview with TMZ, she emphasized that anyone in the industry who knew Harvey at all knew that he regularly did things like what he allegedly did to her.
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Asia Argento has accused Weinstein of raping her in his hotel room when she was 21. She first reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her. During subsequent encounters, she had consensual sexual relations with him due to fear that he would otherwise ruin her career.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In October 2016, she tweeted reference to a studio head raping her. In October 2017, in a tweet to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan referred to Weinstein by name while repeating her rape accusation. The alleged incident took place in the 1990s and resulted in a financial settlement.
Cara Delevingne has accused Harvey Weinstein of attempting to coerce her into kissing another woman in his hotel room. She had just begun her acting career and believed they were meeting just to finalize talks for a film role.
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Emily Nestor (far right), a former Weinstein Co. employee, has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
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Rose McGowan has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. She has also accused others in the industry of knowing of Weinstein's misconduct and either actively or passively hiding it.
Ashley Judd has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of asking her for a massage and then asking her to watch him shower.
Florence Darel has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in a hotel suite in 1996 while his wife was in the room next door.
Zoe Brock (left, in 2004) has accused Weinstein of getting naked and chasing her around a hotel room after she refused to give him a massage.
Katherine Kendall (right, in 2006) has accused Harvey Weinstein of disrobing and asking for a massage in his apartment after a movie screening, telling her that "everybody does it." He then asked her to at least show him her breasts, which she refused.
Romola Garai has accused Harvey Weinstein of making her feel "violated" when he watched her audition wearing only a bathrobe in his hotel room.
Lea Seydoux has accused Harvey Weinstein of forcibly trying to kiss her on the lips in 2012.
Claire Forlani said she "escaped" Harvey Weinstein on five occasions. He allegedly told her about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had in turn established their careers. He also attempted to get her to give him a massage.
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"His line was, 'It's a really challenging scene and I can tell you can handle it, but it definitely requires more work than what we do here. Do you have any time to stay afterward to push a little harder with [the material]?'" says Jenny Kern, who was new to L.A. when she met him at the Sherman Oaks-based Reel Pros. "I was really flattered."

Once alone at the facility, Henry had her repeat the scene several times before telling her he thought it needed "more vulnerability" and suggesting, as an ostensive acting exercise, to remove her bra so she could better access the self-consciousness of the hypertrichosis sufferer. Dissatisfied with the result, he "incrementally asked me to take my clothes off," she says, and she complied, wanting "just to get done." Soon, she found herself wearing nothing but her underwear and Doc Marten combat boots. "He started saying things, improvising as this detective character: 'I can see your t--s,' 'I can see you shave your p---y.' He did it until I finally cried," she says. Then he thanked her for her performance.

Tessa Goss says she encountered Henry at Culver City's acting center ITA when she was pregnant with her third child, "excited to burn $45 to get in front of Andy and get called in to read before my baby bump grew and I was out of the game again." She observes of his methodology: "He prefaced by saying, as he'd playact frustration, running his hands through his hair, 'This is going to seem super-crazy, but don't think it's super-weird.' That he works with actresses all the time. His thing was that [the performance] would feel more authentic if you can feel your nipples against your clothes." She continues, "I thought, 'I need to get out of here.' But there's also this sick actor part of me that thought, 'I need to get out of here as friends.'"

Goss left instead of removing her bra. "Lucky for me," she explains, "I was pregnant and didn't want to show my bump." (Goss later emailed ITA about her concern. In a reply she shared with THR, employee Bob Rumnock wrote, "Dear God! Just tell me that no one asked you to disrobe!!!" He didn't respond to a request for comment.)

Already accustomed to the draining endeavor of auditioning, with its relentless exposure and rejection, the women's interactions with Henry left them feeling coerced in the moment as well as undermined in their craft long afterward. While Catherine Black rebuffed Henry's request that she shed her attire during a private session at AIA Actor's Studio in Burbank, it did leave her with "shame that I wasn't serious about learning my craft," she says. "It really planted a seed in my head, that maybe I wasn't good enough. Of, what did I do wrong? It made me feel ashamed."

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Harvey Weinstein and celebrities through the years
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Harvey Weinstein and celebrities through the years
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Film producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrive for the 50th anniversary gala of the NFT at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank in London. (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein (C) and tv personality Heidi Klum (back, L) and actress Uma Thurman (front, L) attend The Weinstein Company & Netflix's 2014 Golden Globes After Party presented by Bombardier, FIJI Water, Lexus, Laura Mercier, Marie Claire and Yucaipa Films at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
Producer Harvey Weinstein (L) speaks with Jennifer Lawrence during a commercial break at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 18, 2014 REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)(SAGAWARDS-SHOW)
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Henry's actions allegedly extended to the casting office where he was employed at the time, Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer. Then-recent L.A. transplant Jacqueline Mueller, an aspiring actress and intern in the office, explains that during a private coaching session in 2008 on the premises utilizing the CSI scene, he requested she take her bra off, which she did. "Then he asked me to unzip my sweater," she says. "If I'd unzipped it, I would've been topless. I felt disgusted and bamboozled." When she demurred, he offered her whiskey out of a drawer, to loosen her inhibitions. Mueller adds: "I don't remember him reaching out to the men in the office to 'help' them" with their acting aspirations.

The agency tells THR it immediately contacted CBS' human resources department when it fielded an initial complaint from an unidentified third party. "We terminated him the next day," says partner Eric Dawson.

Mandy June Turpin, another professed target at ITA (she claims he touched her shoulders and breasts during their session), recalls of the moment: "I thought, 'Thank God, somebody said something.' You're afraid to speak up. You're someone without credits. And he went on to work again in the business anyway."

Henry notes in his statement that subsequently, "My standing in the entertainment community was greatly lowered, and my career options were severely curtailed."

Since mid-2015 Henry has been employed at Nancy Nayor Casting. Nayor, a three-decade veteran in the business, explains that she was unaware of the 2008 incidents when she hired him, but that after THR recently approached him for its inquiry, he'd in turn alerted her. "He described [the situation] in broad strokes, that something had gone wrong and he'd made amends — at least in his mind," she says. "That that's why he hadn't shared it before." Apprised of the full scope of the women's claims, she responds: "It's truly shocking. It sounds like gross misconduct." Nayor subsequently explains that Henry is on a leave of absence in light of "these serious allegations."

Several of the women recently shared their stories with the Casting Society of America, a professional association where Henry is a member. The organization indicated to them that it's looking into the matter. CSA president Matthew Lessall didn't respond to a request for comment.

Among the most upsetting aspects of the experience for many of the women, as they see it, was how Henry shrewdly leveraged their interest in taking up a supposed professional challenge — accessing vulnerability — to untoward ends in a heavily skewed power dynamic. "He said, 'I think we can really break through with this," says Kern. "He asked me to go further and further. In that moment I knew I wanted to stop. But I didn't. I was outside of my body."

Andy Henry's full statement to THR:

"Nine years ago, I tried what I thought was a coaching technique, but which I learned very quickly was foolish and foolhardy. It was brought to light almost immediately, and as you were correctly informed, I was terminated from my employment in 2008 as a result.

I was then, and remain to this day, profoundly sorry about these incidents. I took responsibility right away for using nudity as a technique to explore the vulnerability portrayed in a scene, without being cognizant of the potential damage to the human being in the room. I was not aware of the allegations of fondling until now, and do not believe or recall that such a thing happened. I never meant to make anyone feel pressured into doing anything, nor did I ever consciously intend to hurt anyone.

My job was gone, my standing in the entertainment community was greatly lowered, and my career options were severely curtailed. I lost my marriage and declared bankruptcy as a result. I was punished for my actions, but I have spent the last nine years rebuilding myself into a person who could never do such a thoughtless and careless thing again. I have formally converted to Judaism, I have dedicated my life to the service of God and to trying to make some repair in this world. And I have striven to live and work every day as honorably and as honestly as possible. I am, again, inexpressibly sorry for the pain that these incidents caused."

 

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