In an accompanying short film, Vanity FairAnnual “Hollywood Issue” number of Jerry LewisLeading ladies, co-stars, and many other ambitious and talented women allege that the so-called King of Comedy has sexually harassed and, in at least one case, sexually assaulted them.
The story and the film are based in part on interviews conducted by the Emmy Award winner Allen vs. Farrow Directors Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, who in 2017 set out to investigate Hollywood’s long history of abuse. They found that some of the most severe accusations were made by Lewis.
Among those interviewed for the piece holiday hopewho appeared in Womanizer With Lewis a year after her breakout at Billy Wilder Flat; Jill St. John, who starred as the comedian in Who thinks about the store?; Anna Maria Bergetti who worked with him Cindervella; Karen Sharpwho played the star love role in disorganized disorganizedOscar-nominated comedian/actress/writer Renee Taylor; singer Lenny Kazan; and others.
The most serious allegations came from Sharp and Holiday.
Sharp asserted that after putting on a uniform in his office, Lewis refused the others present and physically assaulted her.
“Hold me ,” I claimed to Vanity Fair. “He started petting me. He unzipped his pants. Quite frankly, I was dumbfounded.”
Sharp points out that she rejected him and an angry Lewis later retaliates. She claims that he prevented anyone on set from speaking to her for the rest of the production. She says he refused to train with her, and instead sent his stay, not allowing her to quit.
Lewis never spoke to Sharp unless it was during a scene, she says.
Holiday had known Louis since she was thirteen but was in her early thirties when the comedian allegedly invited her into his dressing room, slammed the door with a push of a button, and began “talking rudely” to her and masturbating.
She said, “I was afraid.” Vanity Fair. “I just sat there, and I wanted to leave so badly.”
Holiday said her friends urged her to report Louise to SAG, but she remained silent out of fear.
“It was too big for BasicHoliday said. “I was under contract with him and Paramount, and I didn’t want to rock the boat. You know, I thought I’d keep my mouth shut.”
Taylor says she has come to realize, in no uncertain terms, that studio executives know and condone Lewis’ behavior toward women.
She was 28 when the comedian arranged a meeting for her with Paramount Brass who promptly asked her if she was “one of Jerry’s girls”. When she told them “no,” she claims, executives started talking rudely about her and Lewis’s autopsies.
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