Lisa Wilkinson pens open letter to US actor amid 'ambush' claims

Anita Lyons
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Lisa Wilkinson has hit back after claims were made against her by US actor Richard Dreyfuss last week.

While The Project addressed the allegations on their show on Friday, Lisa has come out swinging with her own response.

The Project journalist Lisa Wilkinson publicly pens open letter to US actor Richard Dreyfuss. Source: Getty Images

Publishing an open letter to the actor on Ten Daily, Lisa began by commending the 70-year-old on his performances in American GraffitiClose Encounters, Jaws and his Oscar performance in The Goodbye Girl.

“Which brings me to your curious performance on Thursday on the Nine Network, accusing me of ‘mugging’ you with my question which gently, respectfully and tangentially referred to the #metoo allegations made about you last November by one of your former female colleagues, Jessica Teich,” she said.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss accused the Sunday Project for “mugging” him in an interview. Source: Getty Images

“I will never know if those accusations are true. But in the wake of the rising #metoo movement, you clearly felt mortified enough by your past behaviour to release a statement of revealing candour,” she said.

Lisa then said that she “simply inquired” about the “self-confessed revolting behaviour”.

“Did it ever occur to you that all those women just went along with your ‘lowdown dirty dog’ behaviour because to do anything else, when you were without question one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, may have resulted in serious repercussions for them?” 

“I will never know if those accusations are true. But in the wake of the rising #metoo movement, you clearly felt mortified enough by your past behaviour to release a statement of revealing candour,” Lisa said in her letter. Source: Getty Images

Her letter continued to address the “power imbalance” and “harassment of women” and questioned the 70-year-old actor: “And now you want to play the victim?”.

Wilkinson concluded the letter by appealing to the actor that he was not “ambushed” on the show.

“You were not mugged. And we were not unethical,” she said.

Hamish Macdonald (pictured here with co-host Carrie Bickmore), addressed the allegations on The Project on Thursday. Source: Network Ten

“As a journalist I make no apology for courteously asking an entirely legitimate question about a subject you had spoken of before and which has generated more headlines than anything you’ve done in the last 20 years.”

“Your answer on Sunday night was informative and enlightening. And we thanked you for it. But I fear that your dummy spit and ramblings on the Nine Network on Thursday undermine your initial open and enlightened stance.” 

In an interview on Channel 9’s Today Show on Thursday, Dreyfuss read out a statement scolding Wilkinson (along with co-host Hamish Macdonald) comparing them to petty criminals.

He slammed the show for claiming they had led him to believe that the chat would be ‘light’ and ‘friendly’, before springing a serious question about sexual assault claims against him.

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