In her new memoir, Tippi, actress Tippi Hedren has detailed the sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and obsessive attention that famed director Alfred Hitchcock subjected her to while filming 1963’s The Birds and 1964’s Marnie. As obtained by the New York Post, Hedren claims that Hitchcock’s inappropriate behavior began while on set for early preparations of The Birds, where he would turn “icy” and give her an “expressionless, unwavering stare … even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage” if he saw her socializing with another man. It quickly escalated to Hitchcock asking his chauffeur to frequently drive past Hedren’s home to check on her, having her handwriting analyzed, and asking her to “touch him.” Once, he even tried to force her to kiss him in the back of a limousine. “It was an awful, awful moment,” she wrote, but chose to withhold telling any about the alleged encounter because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” in the early 1960s. She added: “Which one of us was more valuable to the studio, him or me?”
Months later, when filming Marnie, Hedren claims that Hitchcock installed a secret door that connected her dressing room to his personal office. One day, he appeared in her room and “put his hands” all over her. “It was sexual, it was perverse,” she wrote. “The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became … I’ve made it my mission ever since to see to it that while Hitchcock may have ruined my career, I never gave him the power to ruin my life.” After Marnie, the two never worked together on another film, and Hitchcock died in 1980 of renal failure. Hedren had previously spoken out about Hitchcock’s behavior in a handful of interviews, while the 2012 HBO film, The Girl, chronicled the director’s apparent obsession with her.