Jeffrey Tambor quits 'Transparent' after sex assault claims

Jeffrey Tambor says he won't return to the Amazon series "Transparent" after sexual harassment claims against him (AFP Photo/Rich Fury)
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Los Angeles (AFP) - After two women on the set of "Transparent" accused him of sexual harassment, Emmy-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor announced Sunday he is leaving the Amazon series, the latest Hollywood star embroiled in allegations of misconduct.

"Playing Maura Pfefferman on 'Transparent' has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life," Tambor told Deadline Hollywood magazine about the transgender role.

"What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago."

Deadline said the show had already been considering writing off the character played by the US actor, who has also won a Golden Globe for the role, after allegations first emerged against him earlier this month.

"I've already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue," Tambor said.

"Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to Transparent."

Tambor has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of a transgender woman whose family is coming to terms with the transition.

The claims against him have been brought by his former assistant, transgender actress Van Barnes, and another transgender actress featured on the show, Trace Lysette.

Barnes said her former boss had propositioned her on several occasions, made lewd comments, groped her and threatened to sue her if she made the behavior known.

Lysette said Tambor had made lewd remarks of a sexual nature to her repeatedly, and had been "physical" with her at least once.

After those claims were made public, Tambor insisted that "I have never been a predator -- ever."

The accusations against Tambor come amid a surge of claims of sexual harassment leveled at senior male figures in the entertainment, media and political establishments, including Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Actress Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO series "Girls," apologized to fans after she backed one of her show's male writers, who has been accused of sexual assault, and cast doubt on the claims.

Dunham -- who faced serious backlash over the comments -- said it was the "wrong time" to make such a statement, adding: "Every woman who comes forward deserves to be heard, fully and completely."