Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment Getty

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has opened a nightmarishly infinite can of worms, with previously much-adored Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman the latest star to be accused of sexual harassment.

The 80-year-old Tootsie legend, who has won two Oscars and has been nominated for five more, is accused of groping a 17-year-old intern on set in 1985.

Writer Anna Graham Hunter alleges that the actor assaulted her on the set of the television movie Death of a Salesman and spoke about having sex with her in an inappropriate manner.

She wrote in the Hollywood Reporter: "He asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did."

"He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me. One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, 'I'll have a hard-boiled egg ... and a soft-boiled clitoris.' His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried."

Hunter documented Hoffman's alleged treatment of her over five weeks on set in a diary, which she mailed to her sister at the time.

She wrote: "Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my ass four times. I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man."

"He took off his hat and pointed to his head (shaved for the part) and said, 'No, I'm a dirty young man, I have a full head of hair.'" Hunter was advised to tolerate Hoffman's behaviour on set, told by his supervisor to "sacrifice" some of her values for the sake of the production.

She adds: "At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere.

"He was a predator, I was a child, and this was sexual harassment. As to how it fits into my own pattern, I imagine I'll be figuring that out for years to come."

A statement from Hoffman read: "I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."

The revelation about Hoffman comes as other stars including Kevin Spacey, James Toback and Brett Ratner have been accused of sexual harassment. The latter has been accused by six women including actors Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn.

Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey at the premiere of Baby Driver earlier this year. Getty Images