Kip Pardue accused of sexual misconduct during sex scene

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Actress Sarah Scott accused co-star Kip Pardue of sexual misconduct while filming a sex scene together — and despite the best efforts of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, she has seen very little progress in any action being taken to rectify the situation.

Scott, 35, claims that while filming an intimate scene for a TV project called “Mogulettes” — during which she was clad in just underwear and nipple pasties — Pardue, 43, grew aroused and grabbed her hand and placed it on his penis, she told the Los Angeles Times.

Though Scott says she was horrified, they continued filming the scene. She alleged that afterward, Pardue called her into his dressing room, where he proceeded to masturbate in front of her.

“I literally froze. I said, ‘What are you doing?’” Scott recalled. She says that he replied, “‘This isn’t a #MeToo thing. I’m not your employer. It’s not like I can fire you.’”

Scott also claims that Pardue said he masturbated in front of her because she’s “‘just so hot.’”

Sarah Scott
Sarah ScottGetty Images

The incident occurred in May, more than six months after sexual assault and harassment allegations had been levied against the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. (who admitted to masturbating in front of women with whom he worked) and others.

Pardue admitted to putting Scott’s hand on his groin, but denied masturbating in her presence.

“I clearly misread the situation during a sex scene on set and have apologized to Sarah,” Pardue told the Los Angeles Times in a statement from his rep. “I never intended to offend her in any way and deeply regret my actions and have learned from my behavior.”

Scott claims to have immediately told her husband about the incident, then reported it to “Mogulettes” director Dave Fraunces and producer Mandy Henderson, who said they never suspected anything and were shocked at the allegations.

“Mogulettes” executive producer Bennett Talsky said she asked both Scott and Pardue about the incident, telling the Los Angeles Times, “[Pardue] was trying to justify it, saying they had really good chemistry and he got carried away. It didn’t get anywhere, and I didn’t really confront him — I was just trying to feel him out and see if he felt like he had screwed up.”

Scott also quickly reported the incident to SAG-AFTRA and that she was encouraged to do so, but says she was frustrated by the guild’s inaction.

The actress, who’s appeared on “True Blood,” “Castle,” “The Orville” and other series, also sought help from friends, including comedian Kevin Kane, who referred her to his own close friend Amy Schumer, because of Schumer’s work with Time’s Up.

“Most actresses I know have experienced violations on set of a sexual nature, including myself. You can be shooting a scene — or even auditioning a scene and your scene partner can take it too far,” Schumer said. “And if you speak up about it, you’re made to feel difficult.”

Schumer introduced Scott to Time’s Up COO Rebecca Rottenberg Goldman, who then linked Scott to attorney Katherine Atkinson, who’d volunteered her services for Time’s Up. Scott discussed her options with Atkinson and decided against a civil suit — and was shocked when she was expected to pay Atkinson a $2,500 retainer, believing Atkinson had been working pro-bono.

A Time’s Up director explained to the LA Times that not all attorneys will charge a retainer; Scott says she was told that Time’s Up may or may not reimburse her for the fee, at which point she decided to not work with a lawyer anymore due to the financial risk involved.

Scott eventually reached out to SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, who responded immediately and thanked Scott for sharing her story. She was then sent a questionnaire asking about the incident, any witnesses and evidence she may have. She says she filled it out and returned it the same day to file a member-to-member complaint through SAG-AFTRA on June 11.

SAG-AFTRA said in a statement to Variety on Monday evening, “Confidentiality protects members. In certain cases, our members choose to initiate member-to-member disciplinary proceedings in response to an incident. Our mission is to support the member who is reaching out to us for help in responding to an incident, while also providing fairness and due process. In order to protect our members, we must protect their privacy and uphold confidentiality during the course of the proceedings. This means SAG-AFTRA not commenting publicly when asked about confidential investigative, disciplinary or trial processes. You may have seen stories in the media about these matters, and that is why we are often unable to comment, in order to avoid divulging confidential information, even though the charging and charged members are free to comment publicly if they wish.”

By late August, a frustrated Scott reported the incident to local police.

The parties eventually agreed to mediation for the incident, with Atkinson repping Scott without a retainer fee, but the hearing was postponed after Atkinson couldn’t fly to Los Angeles from Washington, D.C., in time for the hearing.

Pardue’s attorney told the Times in a statement that the “Remember the Titans” star “would welcome a SAG hearing or any other fair process to resolve this matter.”

“I am disappointed that Kip has chosen to hide behind his actions. Speaking out about this has been extraordinarily difficult for me, and now I understand why so many people don’t,” Scott lamented. “My goal remains the same — my wish is for Kip to take full responsibility for all of his actions.”

It’s unclear whether Pardue’s acting career will be affected by the allegations.

He’s slated to star in season 2 of Marvel’s “The Runaways,” which already wrapped production and is slated to premiere on Hulu Dec. 21, Deadline reports.

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