Jerry Lewis Former Costars Accuse Him of Sexual Harassment, Assault in New Documentary

Co-stars of Jerry Lewis said the comedy legend groped and sexually harassed them decades ago while on film sets. Lewis died in 2017 at the age of 91.

In a new Vanity Fair exposé, two former co-stars detail similar alleged encounters that took years apart but share several similarities. Lewis’ family declined to comment because they were unaware of the accusations, Fox News said.

Karen Sharpe, now 87, said Jerry Lewis asked her to appear in the movie The Disorderly Order in 1964. She said Lewis was very concerned about what she wore in the movie. He came to one of the costume fittings and at one point told everyone to leave the room so they could be alone.

That’s when she said he grabbed her. “He began to fondle me. He unzipped his pants,” she said. “Quite frankly, I was dumbstruck.”

She pushed backed. “I put my hand up and said, ‘Wait a minute. I don’t know if this is a requirement for your leading ladies, but this is something I don’t do.’” She continued, “I could see that he was furious. I got the feeling that that never really happened to him.”

That’s where the assault stopped, she said. She offered to leave the movie, but Jerry Lewis reportedly said she must honor her contract. Sharpe finished the film but claimed Lewis made the production difficult. Lewis wouldn’t allow anyone on the crew to speak to her, or they would be fired, she said someone told her.

Second Actress Makes Similar Claims Against Jerry Lewis

Hope Holiday, now 91, said her father knew Jerry Lewis, and she considered him family. He cast her in his 1961 film The Ladies Man, a movie he also directed.

One day during the production, Lewis called her to his dressing room to discuss the movie. When she sat down, Lewis pressed a button that locked the door, she told Vanity Fair. “Then he starts to talk to me: ‘Y’know, you could be very attractive, but you wear pants all the time. I have never seen you in a skirt. You have nice legs, and you’ve got good boobs,’” she recalled.

Holiday said she was uncomfortable but was trapped. Things escalated from there, she alleges.

“Then he starts to talk to me about sex,” she said. “He starts to talk dirty to me and as he’s talking, the pants open, and the ugly thing came out and he starts to j–k off. I was frightened…I just sat there, and I wanted to leave so badly.”

The next day, Holiday angrily confronted Lewis on set. “I hit him so hard that I spun around. And I didn’t mean to,” she said. “Maybe down deep I did, but he walked off the set and sulked for an hour. He said I did it on purpose.”

She said Lewis was cold to her after that. “He finally came back and didn’t talk to me,” Holiday said. “He never spoke to me again.”

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