Tippi Hedren Claims Alfred Hitchcock Sexually Assaulted Her in the ’60s

Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock promote their film ‘The Birds’ in France in May 1963.

Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Tippi Hedren claims in her forthcoming memoir, Tippi, that she was sexually assaulted and harassed by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1960s.

The legendary actress, 86, alleges that the English director, who died in 1980, developed an obsession with her shortly after discovering and signing her to a five-year movie contract, according to memoir excerpts obtained by the New York Post.

At the age of 31, Hedren moved from New York City to Los Angeles following her divorce from actor Peter Griffith, with whom she shared daughter and famed actress Melanie Griffith. In L.A., Hitchcock discovered Hedren in a TV commercial for a meal replacement shake, tracked her down and signed her to a movie contract, which included the starring role in 1963's The Birds.

According to the former model, the filmmaker warned her Birds castmates (including star Rod Taylor) not to "touch The Girl" or even talk to her. Hedren writes in the memoir that every time Hitchcock spotted her talking with another man, he became "icy" and "petulant," giving her an "expressionless, unwavering stare … even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage."

Per the book, Hitchcock (who was married to Alma Reville) also allegedly made several advances toward Hedren. In Tippi, she claims that he often asked his driver to drive past her home, had her handwriting analyzed, asked her to "touch him" and tried to kiss her in the back of his limousine.

"It was an awful, awful moment," she writes in the book, adding that she didn't tell anyone at the time because "sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn't exist" in the 1960s.

A year after The Birds, the Hollywood icon worked on her second and final film with Hitchcock, Marnie. Hedren writes that the inappropriate behavior continued on set, where she claims Hitchcock installed a secret door that connected his office with her dressing room.

"It was sexual, it was perverse," she writes of the time he allegedly touched her inside her dressing room. "The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became."

Tippi hits bookstores on Tuesday, November 1.

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