A woman has filed a lawsuit against Warren Beatty, alleging that the actor coerced her into sex in 1973 when he was 35 and she was 14 and 15.
The suit, filed on Monday in Los Angeles superior court by Kristina Hirsch, does not list Beatty, now 85, by name but clearly references him. The defendant is referred to as “a renowned and well-known actor and producer” who was nominated for an academy award for his role as Clyde in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde.
Hirsch, who now lives in Louisiana, alleges that she met Beatty on a movie set in 1973, where he paid her “undue attention”, commented on her looks and gave her his phone number. The suit claims Beatty called Hirsch several times, invited her to his hotel, took her on car rides, offered to help with her homework and commented numerous times about losing her virginity.
According to the suit, the defendant “used his position and status as an adult and a Hollywood movie star to coerce sexual contact with plaintiff on multiple occasions, including oral sex, simulated sex and finally coerced sexual intercourse with the minor child”.
The suit claims that Hirsch was “initially thrilled” by the defendant’s attention and believed herself to be in a romantic relationship with him.
Hirsch filed the suit via a 2019 California law that opened a three-year “look-back window” for claims of child sexual abuse that would have been dismissed by the statute of limitations. The window closes on 1 January.
Hirsch is seeking compensation for psychological, mental and emotional distress, and states that she has “issues with trust and control” as well as difficulty interacting with people in positions of authority as a result of sexual abuse.
“As a direct result of the molestation by defendant Doe, plaintiff has had issues with her personal life, such as issues with trust and control,” the complaint reads. “These feelings have caused plaintiff substantial emotional distress, guilt, anxiety, nervousness and fear.”
Hirsch is represented by Michael Reck and Michael Finnegan of the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, which has handled sex abuse cases involving the Catholic church and the Boy Scouts of America.
Beatty has yet to make any statement and the Guardian has contacted his lawyers for comment.