Ordinary People star Timothy Hutton has released a statement denying claims he raped a 14-year-old girl in 1983.
The Oscar winner has been accused of sexually assaulting Canadian model Sera Johnston when she was a teenager, in a Vancouver hotel room, while he was shooting the movie Iceman.
She told Buzzfeed Hutton forced himself on her while his friend watched, but the actor insists this is the latest in a line of extortion attempts over the past two years.
"I have been the target of multiple extortion attempts by a woman named Sera Dale Johnston to extract millions of dollars from me," he writes. "She threatened that if I did not meet her demands, she would go to the press with a false allegation that I sexually assaulted her 37 years ago in Canada. I never assaulted Ms. Johnston.
"Today, BuzzFeed chose to publish Ms. Johnston’s false story. BuzzFeed knew the truth because they were provided with documented evidence. What’s really going on here is that Ms. Johnston’s extortion attempts failed. She then decided to follow through on her threat to go to the press with her false story.
"When I became aware of this, I went to the FBI, signed a sworn statement, and filed a criminal complaint against Ms. Johnston for extortion. I will not stop fighting to expose this story for what it is - a failed extortion attempt based on something that never happened."
Hutton's lawyer, Tom Clare, has also released a statement, insisting there was "no encounter of any kind" and "certainly no sexual assault".
"Buzzfeed knew the truth before publication," the attorney adds. "BuzzFeed knew that, in July 2019, Tim filed a criminal complaint with the FBI - long before Ms. Johnston made her own report to the police. Further, BuzzFeed recklessly disregarded multiple sworn declarations from neutral third parties that absolutely show Ms. Johnston’s allegations to be false.
"We will be sending BuzzFeed a legal retraction demand. If BuzzFeed wrongfully refuses to retract the article, Tim is prepared to take any and all necessary steps, including the filing of a defamation lawsuit, to clear his name and to hold BuzzFeed and Ms. Johnston accountable for their reckless and self-serving efforts to destroy Tim’s reputation and career."
Sera told the outlet she was treated "like a doll" throughout the alleged rape ordeal, which she compared to being prepped for surgery.
The statements from Hutton and his lawyer come hours after the actor's new TV series, Almost Family, was cancelled after just one season.
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