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Entertainment Broadway great Ben Vereen accused of sexually assaulting, harassing multiple women during 'Hair' rehearsals and hot tub sessions

17:10  05 january  2018
17:10  05 january  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

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Fox411: Broadway legend Ben Vereen has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault and harassment during the 2015 production of ' Hair .'

Broadway legend Ben Vereen has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault and harassment during the 2015 production of “ Hair .”

Ben Vereen wearing a hat: Ben Vereen, pictured here arrving at the 71st Tony Awards in New York City on June 11, 2017, has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple women during a 2015 production of © Reuters Ben Vereen, pictured here arrving at the 71st Tony Awards in New York City on June 11, 2017, has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing multiple women during a 2015 production of "Hair."

Broadway legend Ben Vereen has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault and harassment during the 2015 production of "Hair."

Several actresses detailed the sexually abusive behavior they say they suffered at the hands of Vereen including unwanted kissing, inviting women to join him naked in his hot tub and making demeaning and degrading comments towards them in an expose published by the New York Daily News on Friday.

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Broadway star Ben Vereen accused of sexual assault during production of ' Hair '. Vereen apologized for 'inappropriate' behavior against actresses in 2015 production of ' Hair ' in Venice, Fla.

The women said once they got into the hot tub , Vereen began breaking them down with probing personal questions allegedly aimed at reaching creative breakthroughs. This was the same technique he used during rehearsals when he made different cast members, usually women

Two of the actresses from the 2015 production told the Daily News that Vereen invited them on separate occasions to his Florida rental home for "private rehearsals." He then pressed his erect penis against them without permission.

"I would like to apologize directly to the female cast members of the musical 'Hair' for my inappropriate conduct when I directed the production in 2015," he told the Daily News in a statement.

Kaitlyn Terpstra, who was 22 years old at the time, said Vereen told her "nudity was not inherently sexual" in order to convince her to get in his hot tub without clothes.

"He made me feel that if I wasn't mature enough to understand that, I wasn’t mature enough to be in 'Hair,'" Terpstra said.

A second women who asked to be identified by her first name only said she had the same experience as Terpstra.

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Broadway star Ben Vereen has been accused of sexual assault by several women during the 2015 production of Hair . In a new article in the Daily News, two women say Vereen forcefully hugged and kissed them

Kaitlyn Terpstra says Broadway legend Ben Vereen sexually harassed her during a 2015 production of " Hair ."Courtesy of Kaitlyn Terpstra.

"He basically told both of us, 'Get over yourself. Nudity doesn't have to be sexual.' If we asked questions or hesitated, we were the ones making it weird," Kim said.

Terpstra and Kim said Vereen, who was just shy of 69 at the time, began asking them personal questions aimed to help them reach "creative breakthroughs."

"He was acting as my mentor, asking me about my parents, then that same night, he put me on his lap while I was crying, and I felt his erection," Terpstra alleged.

"He asked me, 'Feel that?' It was terrifying. I said, 'Feel what?' I wanted to act like I didn't. I pushed myself off with a laugh. Then later, he asked, 'Do you think I want to f--k you?' I said 'Yes,' and he got angry. He said, 'Well, I don't, and that's unfortunate.' He made me feel like I had my mind in the gutter."

Kim said Vereen asked her to perform oral sex on him when they were in the hot tub and she agreed.

"I just think at the time, I didn't feel like I had a choice. I didn't want to do it, but I was intimidated and scared. He was being very intense and angry. He seemed very angry and offended. I had seen him behave this way toward others...during [rehearsals]," she recalled.

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Multiple women have accused Broadway star Ben Vereen of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault , according to a Friday morning report from the New York Daily News.

In a new article in the Daily News, two women say Vereen forcefully hugged and kissed them, stripped naked during an acting exercise and invited them to his home for “private rehearsals ,” during which time things turned Once in the hot tub , Kim said Vereen asked her to perform oral sex on him.

Several castmembers told the Daily News that Vereen stripped naked during a rehearsal of a nude scene in "Hair," a musical that does typically include several nude scenes.

"It was uncomfortable, to say the least," Ariella Pizarro said. She also accused the actor of forcibly kissing her and sending her inappropriate text messages.

Vereen, now 71, told the Daily News in a statement, “While it was my intention to create an environment that replicated the themes of that musical during the rehearsal process, I have since come to understand that it is my conduct, not my intentions, which are relevant here. So I am not going to make any excuses because the only thing that matters here is acknowledging and apologizing for the effects of my conduct on the lives of these women.

"Going forward, my having come to terms with my past conduct will inform all my future interactions not only with women, but with all individuals. I hope these women will find it in their hearts to accept my sincere apology and forgive me," his statement read.

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