Dakota Johnson: Alfred Hitchcock 'Terrorized' My Grandmother, Ruined Her Career

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Despite rumors, Chris Martin and Dakota Johnson are not engaged. In this image, actress Johnson attends a premiere of the film "Suspiria" presented in competition during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Venice Lido, Sept. 1, 2018.

Dakota Johnson is speaking out on behalf of her grandmother Tippi Hedren.

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" star sat down for a live taping of The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, where she discussed the trauma her grandmother endured while working on two of director Alfred Hitchcock’s most acclaimed films.

Johnson said Hedren — the mother of actress Melanie Griffith — had always been "encouraging" of her desire to pursue an acting career but didn’t sugarcoat the sexual harassment she experienced during her heyday.

"She's always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself. That's what she did," Johnson was quoted by People as saying. "[Alfred] Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn't want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her. He was never held accountable."

In her 2016 memoir "Tippi," Hedren, now 91, claimed she was sexually assaulted by Hitchcock several times when she worked with him in the 1963 movie "The Birds" and 1964's "Marnie."

"It's completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry," Johnson continued. "It's hard to talk about because she's my grandmother. You don't want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother."

Johnson also said her "amazing" grandmother taught both her and her mother to never "put up with that s--- from anybody."

In her memoir, Hedren wrote that the director, who died in 1980, would have his driver drive past her home and had once asked her to "touch him" when they were filming "The Birds." She also alleged that Hitchcock once tried to force her to kiss him in the back of a limo, which she described as "an awful, awful moment" in her book.

Hedren said she didn't tell anyone of the assault because "sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn't exist" in the early 1960s.

The actress wrote that the harassment worsened when she worked with Hitchcock in "Marnie." He allegedly showed up at her dressing room and "put his hands on me."

"It was sexual, it was perverse," Hedren wrote of the encounter.

Following "Marnie," Hedren went on to appear in films such as "I Heart Huckabees," "Citizen Ruth" and "I Woke Up Early the Day I Died" as well as the TV show "Cougar Town."


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Photo: Getty Images/Filippo Monteforte

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