Oscar winner Timothy Hutton vehemently denies the claims that he raped a Canadian model when she was 14 years old, saying he might file a defamation lawsuit against the accuser and BuzzFeed News for publishing her allegations.
According to a new report from the outlet, Sera Johnston claimed the incident occurred after she met the Ordinary People star in Vancouver in 1983 while out on the town at Granville Island with three friends in middle school.
Hutton, who was in town shooting the 1984 film Iceman, and two of his friends allegedly started chatting up the girls and invited them back to the actor’s hotel room to hang out. When they got to the room, the girls claim they were served drinks before Hutton allegedly got close to Johnson, brought her to his bedroom, and raped her while a friend of his watched.
Johnson, who filed a criminal complaint with the Vancouver police in late 2019 about the alleged incident, said she initially told the men she was 17 before admitting she was 14 years old. Although the age of consent in Canada is currently 16, it was 14 at the time of the alleged incident.
Johnson, a working actor at the time, claimed she objected to Hutton and his friend’s behavior at the time, saying “don’t think this is a good idea” and “I don’t think my mother would be too happy about this.” In response to her protests, she claimed Hutton and his friend would say “‘It’ll be OK, it’ll be OK. It won’t last long, and you’ll be fine.’”
The former model claimed Hutton’s friend raped her after the actor allegedly did. She claimed she begged the pair to stop and cried during the act, telling the outlet:
“It hurt like hell. I mean, it was very painful. God. Yeah, it was extremely painful. Horrible, horrible, absolutely horrible… It was a bad sexual experience, you know? That’s what it was. It was just a really bad first experience, and that’ll never happen again.”
Johnston says she never went to the police at the time because she blamed herself and wanted to move forward, but decided to finally come out after reading about a British woman who accused Harvey Weinstein of assault.
The Haunting of Hill House actor responded to Johnson’s decades-old claims in a statement to Deadline on Monday, calling the allegations false and claiming he is the target of “multiple extortion attempts.”
He told the outlet:
“For the past two-and-a-half years, I have been the target of multiple extortion attempts by a woman named Sera Dale Johnston to extract millions of dollars from me. She threatened that if I did not meet her demands, she would go to the press with a false allegation that I sexually assaulted her 37 years ago in Canada.”
Hutton went on to blast BuzzFeed for choosing to publish the story, which claimed that Hutton and Johnson came to a $135,000 settlement, but that Johnson declined the agreement because it included a denial by Hutton that the incident ever occurred.
“Today, BuzzFeed chose to publish Ms. Johnston’s false story. BuzzFeed knew the truth because they were provided with documented evidence… What’s really going on here is that Ms. Johnston’s extortion attempts failed. She then decided to follow through on her threat to go to the press with her false story. When I became aware of this, I went to the FBI, signed a sworn statement, and filed a criminal complaint against Ms. Johnston for extortion. I will not stop fighting to expose this story for what it is – a failed extortion attempt based on something that never happened.”
The actor’s lawyer Tom Clare noted that they will be sending the outlet “a legal retraction demand,” telling Deadline:
“There was no encounter of any kind here, and certainly no sexual assault. The woman featured in the BuzzFeed article, Sera Dale Johnston, has tried to extort millions of dollars from Tim over the last two years. The article was published only after those extortion attempts failed. BuzzFeed, facing serious financial struggles and pressure to attract readers, has shamefully disregarded the facts and allowed itself to be used by Ms. Johnston… If BuzzFeed wrongfully refuses to retract the article, Tim is prepared to take any and all necessary steps, including the filing of a defamation lawsuit, to clear his name and to hold BuzzFeed and Ms. Johnston accountable for their reckless and self-serving efforts to destroy Tim’s reputation and career.”
We guess we’ll see how this one plays out.
What are your first thoughts on this, Perezcious readers?
[Image via WENN]