Another woman has come forward accusing actor Jeremy Piven of sexual assault on the set of “Entourage,” while a casting person on that show confirmed difficulties in hiring women because of the series’ on-set reputation.
Anastasia Taneie, 30, told BuzzFeed.com that when working as an extra on the HBO sitcom in 2009, Piven, who played Hollywood agent Ari Gold, accosted her in a dark hallway and groped her as he pushed her against a wall. Taneie did not file a formal complaint, she told BuzzFeed, because “I was scared at the time nobody was going to believe me. I didn’t want to make a scene. I just wanted to go home.” She added, “It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Piven stopped, she said, when an assistant director walked by and Piven ordered Taneie fired, claiming she had initiated inappropriate contact. A fellow extra that day, Araceli Giacoman, told BuzzFeed that she and Taneie were among a group whom Piven had approached, and that the star had spoken quietly to Taneie and took her with him. Giacoman said Taneie returned looking “distraught,” “scared,” and “shaken.” Another fellow extra, Andy Lobo, told BuzzFeed Taneie was crying and that she told him Piven had forced himself on her.
Jason Rupe, who helped cast extras on “Entourage” from 2009 to 2011, told the site, “I do remember being quite frustrated at one point and even maybe telling one or two of the ADs [assistant directors], like, ‘Look, this . . . [has] gotta stop. These are great actresses that fit exactly what you’re looking for, but they don’t want to come back because they’re getting hassled a lot.’ ”
Piven, 52, has denied all allegations and contacted BuzzFeed to say a previous accuser, documentary filmmaker Amy Rachelle Meador, 43, was going to retract claims she made last month to HollywoodLife.com, about Piven attempting to rape her at her home. Meador, reached by phone, instead told BuzzFeed she stood by her story, and on Thursday tweeted, “He called me out? I’m lying with nothing to gain? You tried to #RAPE me not grope rape. Everyone believes me, I provided sources and I know more people than you think. I spared your life. Happy Thanksgiving @jeremypiven Your family must be so proud!”
Piven has not commented about Taneie on social media. On Nov. 20, Piven’s Instagram page linked to a story in TheBlast.com that said he had passed lie-detector tests in which he denied accusations by three previous women. BuzzFeed said the polygraph examiner did not return a request for comment.
Three other women have made allegations against Piven — TV personality and actress Ariane Bellamar, “Longmire” star Cassidy Freeman and advertising executive Tiffany Bacon Scourby.