Bonnie and Clyde actor Warren Beatty accused of sexually assaulting teenage girl
Warren Beatty, the Oscar-winning Bonnie and Clyde actor, has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl when she was a teenager in 1973.
The lawsuit alleges he used his Hollywood status to "groom, manipulate, exploit and coerce sexual contact" with accuser Kristina Charlotte Hirsch, who was 14 and 15 at the time.
The suit, seen by The Telegraph, does not name Beatty, instead giving him the pseudonym Defendant Doe. However, he is clearly identifiable from the description, which says the defendant is an actor nominated for an Academy Award for portraying Clyde in the hit 1967 film - a part played by Beatty.
Ms Hirsch was living in Los Angeles when she claims she met the defendant, and was taken to the movie set by her neighbour who was working there at the time, according to papers lodged with a California court.
She said Mr Beatty, who was 35 at the time, commented on her looks, gave her his number, invited her to his hotel room, offered to help her with homework and took her for drives in the car.
Accuser thought she was in 'romantic relationship with a movie star'
Over a series of months, he spoke to her about losing her virginity, the lawsuit says. Ms Hirsch was thrilled by the attention, but she was being groomed, the suit says.
This eventually escalated to "oral sex, simulated sex and finally coerced sexual intercourse".
Ms Hirsch thought she “was involved in a romantic relationship with a movie star.”
Mr Beatty’s role in “Bonnie and Clyde,” which he both starred in and produced, cemented his status in what became known as the New Hollywood of the 1970s.
Prior to marrying actress Annette Bening in 1992, Mr Beatty, 85, was notorious for his large number of romantic relationships that received generous media coverage, having been linked to over 100 female celebrities.
According to IMDb, Mr Beatty's last listed movie was 2016's Rules Don't Apply, which he directed, wrote and starred in, playing Howard Hughes, alongside a long list of Hollywood stars.
Ms Hirsh is suing for damages for "severe emotional, physical and psychological distress" that she claims continues to this day.
'Substantial emotional distress'
Ms Hirsh, who lives in Louisiana, claims she's had "difficulty in reasonably or meaningfully interacting with others" as a "direct result of the sexual battery" by Beatty. She alleges she's experienced "substantial emotional distress, anxiety, nervousness, anger and fear."
All parties were contacted, but none commented.
A legal expert told The Telegraph it was not unusual to file a lawsuit and name "Doe" defendants to be identified in the future, typically during the discovery process.
Ms Hirsh is represented by Michael Reck and Michael Finnegan of the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates. The firm has handled numerous child sex abuse cases involving the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.
She filed the suit under a 2019 California law that opened a three-year “lookback window” for claims of child sexual abuse that would otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. That window expires on January 1, 2023.
When the “lookback” window was applied in New York, a flood of lawsuits were launched against high-profile and famous individuals. It is how Prince Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, was able to lodge her complaint against the Duke.