EXCLUSIVE: Another actress has come forward with allegations that actor Steven Seagal sexually harassed her. Eva LaRue, who starred on CSI: Miami for eight seasons and on All My Children for nine, told Deadline that Seagal locked her in a room during an audition at his home in 1990 and then opened his kimono, standing before her with nothing else on but his underpants.
Her allegation comes in the wake of similar claims of sexual harassment by Seagal by Jenny McCarthy, Portia de Rossi and Juliana Margulies.
LaRue was 22 when she got a call from her agent, saying that he'd set up an audition for her at Seagal's house. "Even at 22, I knew better than to go to an audition at somebody's house," she said. "But my agent assured me that the reason it was at his house was because they hadn't secured their studio offices yet."
"Don't worry," her agent told her, "there will be two producers there and the casting director. It's totally on the up and up."
"So I went, against my better judgment," she recalled, "and sure enough, there were two other guys and some woman who was supposed to be the casting director. And there we were, sitting in his living room, talking about the character I was going to play and the story plot and what they're looking for - the usual audition chitchat. But I didn't have the sides. It was a meeting but not a reading. And then the casting director said, 'I think she's perfect for the role.'"
Now, all these years later, LaRue said that she doesn't think there was a role, or even a movie - that it was all just a setup.
Seagal, dressed in a kimono, got up and told her to follow him to get the script. "I don't know why we don't have the script in the living room where we were meeting," she said, "but I said, 'OK,' and I follow him, thinking we're going to his office. We go down the hallway to this room, which is like an office and guest room kind of thing. And he says, 'Have a seat on the couch.' It was like a literal casting couch. And as I was walking towards the couch, with my back towards the door, he's busy closing and locking the doors behind my back. I go to sit on the couch, and he comes towards me and he's opening his weirdo kimono. There's no script or anything. Just him standing there with his kimono open. He had underwear on, thank God, and he was bare everywhere else. And it was clear he was not just getting cozy."
Jumping up from the couch, LaRue moved quickly to the door, making excuses to get out of there. "I wish I could stay, but I can't," she told him. "I have another meeting right after this."
"No, no, sit down," he said.
She kept moving to the door but found that he'd locked it from the inside. "I don't know what's happening," she recalled. "I'm fumbling with the lock and he says, 'No, no, come back. You've got to stay. Come sit on the couch and have a drink with me.'"
"I'd love to, but I have to go," LaRue told him. "Send the script to my agent. I'll read it, but I gotta go." She said he never touched her, but the encounter was unnerving all the same. And as she made a "beeline" through the house and out the front door, she wondered: "Why am I even being nice to this guy? What is it about us women in general that it's somehow beaten into our brains not to hurt somebody's feelings even if they are about to horribly hurt ours."
Once she got home, she called her agent and told him what happened.
"All these agents back then knew what was going on for ages. Thanks for not telling us. Everybody knew but us actors. But nobody followed up or anything," LaRue told Deadline.
McCarthy said in a radio interview that in 1995, Seagal told her to take off her dress and then unzipped his pants during an audition for a role on Under Seige 2. She said she told him "No, thanks" and fled the room in tears, only to be chased by him out into the parking lot, where he allegedly threatened her not to tell anyone - "or else."
De Rossi tweeted on Wednesday that she too was auditioning for a role on one of Seagal's films when he sat down beside her and unzipped his leather pants, allegedly telling her "how important it is to have chemistry off-set." She says she ran out of his office and called her female agent, who allegedly told her, "Well, I didn't know if he was your type."
Margulies said she was 23 when a female casting director asked her to go to the actor's hotel room at 10 PM to go over a scene. The casting director wasn't there, but Seagal was. "I don't know how I got out of that hotel room. … I sorta screamed my way out," Margulies said.
Seagal could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman denied that the actor ever harassed McCarthy.
"Most of us have had to dodge these bullets our entire careers," LaRue said. "It was part of being a woman in the industry. It's like wearing pumps: It's painful, but we gotta wear pumps."
And it's not like these are untold stories, she said. "I told this story a thousand times, and finally it matters, I'm not 'suddenly' coming forward. All these women who have accused Harvey Weinstein aren't 'suddenly' coming forward. These are not new stories that girls are 'suddenly' coming out with. These are stories we've been telling at dinner parties, and to our friends, our family members, our agents and our fellow actors for years. But nobody cared until now, and now people are 'suddenly' coming forward."