John Malkovich was the victim of an unwanted sexual advance during his teenage years.
The 66-year-old actor – who recently starred in a play inspired by the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – has revealed he has first-hand experience of sexual harassment.
‘When I was young, I had a professor in the theatre department who made some advances that were unwanted,’ said the star who worked with Angelina Jolie on The Changeling. ‘I was 19, he was in his 50s. I just said it wasn’t my thing, sorry. It was someone I was fond of and I liked. So life went on. I did transfer schools, but not really because of that.’
His past: John Malkovich was the victim of an unwanted sexual advance during his teenage years. The 66-year-old actor – who recently starred in a play inspired by the disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – has revealed he has first-hand experience of sexual harassment. Seen in 2019
In his early years: Here the star is seen, left, at age 32 with Dustin Hoffman, right, in 1985 for the television movie Death Of A Salesman
However, Malkovich – who played a character based on Weinstein in Bitter Wheat – stressed that his own experience was markedly different to that of Weinstein’s victims.
The Burn After Reading star said: ‘The Weinstein situation is very different. It was transactional. It’s terrible for women, but it’s horrific also just for the idea of work.’
Malkovich actually felt ‘shocked’ when the former producer was handed a prison sentence for sexual abuse crimes.
A serious performer: The In The Line Of Fire star seen in 1987. ‘When I was young, I had a professor in the theatre department who made some advances that were unwanted,’ said the star. ‘I was 19, he was in his 50s. I just said it wasn’t my thing, sorry. It was someone I was fond of and I liked. So life went on. I did transfer schools, but not really because of that’
Weinstein, 68, was sentenced to 23 years behind bars by a New York City judge earlier this year, and Malkovich confessed it’s something he never imagined happening, despite the wave of sexual abuse allegations made against him.
He said: ‘I was shocked he even got a sentence. I don’t know anybody who believed he would go to jail.’
The initial allegations made against Weinstein ignited the #MeToo movement, a campaign geared towards fighting the sexual harassment and sexual assault of women.
One of his hits: Seen with Angelina Jolie in the film Changeling in 2008 for director Clint Eastwood
On the panel: Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins and Jolie at the Beowul press conference in Los Angeles in 2007
But Malkovich thinks it’s too early to determine whether the movement will leave a long-lasting impression on the movie industry.
He added: ‘It’s a terrible thing if somebody’s job depends on what sexual favor they will give in return for work.’
Asked if that was previously the culture of the film business, Malkovich replied: ‘Sure.’
Malkovich also said he has had to work constantly in the past decade after losing millions to fraudster Bernie Madoff.
Malkovich also said he has had to work constantly the past decade after losing millions to fraudster Bernie Madoff
In December 2008, the star lost his life savings to financier Madoff, who defrauded thousands of investors out of an estimated $64.8 billion in a Ponzi scheme and was given a 150-year jail sentence in 2009.
Malkovich admits he and his long-term partner Nicoletta Peyran had to make wholesale changes to their lifestyle and he had to accept as many roles that came his way to become financially secure again.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, he said: ‘Our then business manager had invested pretty much everything we’d ever made with somebody called Bernie Madoff. Everything I’d ever made was gone.
‘I saw a picture of Bernie Madoff in handcuffs and said, ‘I’m going to go to the corner to get a packet of cigarettes. I think we have a little problem with Madoff.”
When asked how much money in total he lost, he added: ‘Oh, I don’t know. A lot. But I don’t think it mattered that much. We just made changes to the way we lived and the money we spent.
‘I had to do more work that paid for a number of years, and work all the time. And I stopped paying for everything. I just stopped paying for friends and family for a time. And we used to spend a lot of money producing movies that lost quite a lot of money. That stopped.’
Another co-star: The actor worked with Andie MacDowell on the film Object Of Desire
Malkovich insists he was only angry about his lost fortune for a few days and kept reminding himself he was still in a privileged position to most of his fellow Americans.
He said: ‘After a couple or three days, you go, ‘You’re lucky to be alive, you’re lucky to have a job.’ Almost no one has money in the banks. I read somewhere that a huge percentage of Americans wouldn’t have $400 to put between their hands in an emergency.’
After five decades in the movie business, the actor insists he’d be content if he never landed another role for the rest of his life.
When asked if it would bother him if he never got another job offer, he replied: ‘No!
‘It would require a change in the way we live. But we already did that 12 years ago. So that would be fine.’