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Paul Johansson: ‘One Tree Hill’ Dad Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Journalist

Wed, May 20, 2015 6:05pm EDT by Emily Longeretta 14 Comments
Paul Johansson Accused Of Sexual Harassment
Image Courtesy of CW

Paul Johansson is well-known as an on-screen villian — the extremely hated father, Dan Scott, in ‘One Tree Hill,’ and ‘Mad Men’ creep, Ferg Donnelly. However, he is now facing the wrath in real life, being accused of making sexist comments to a female journalist during an interview at BuzzFeed.

Susan Cheng, an editorial assistant at BuzzFeed, shared a full story about an experience she had while interviewing Paul Johansson, the 51-year-old actor who is known for being a great villain. She titled the story, What Hollywood’s Acceptance Of Sexism Looks Like In Practice, in which she claimed that he made many remarks that made her extremely uncomfortable. The actor’s lawyer also released a rebuttal statement.

Paul Johansson Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Here is the first awkward engagement that she states happened in late April when Paul arrived to the L.A. BuzzFeed offices to do a story about how to play a “dick” on TV:

“Why are you so tan?” Johansson asked one of my colleagues.

“I was outside playing tennis all weekend,” she answered.

“I play tennis,” he said. “I’m not very good though.”

“I could probably beat you,” she replied.

“This is what we refer to as flirting where I am from,” he responded blithely. “I’ll find your weak spot.”

“I don’t have any,” she responded.

“My serve is pretty strong,” he said. “I’ll serve the ball right down your throat.”

Susan went on in the piece, to explain her uncomfortable engagement, including him putting his arm around her back and got too hot under the lights. On camera, he said “I’m not shy,” before adding “I’m sweating like a rapist.” Upon leaving, they walked by a conference room and she told him that they had meetings there.

“Do you ever take people in there and make out with them?” he allegedly asked and put his arm on her back again. “Well, those are glass windows, so no,” was her response.

A few weeks later, Susan emailed his publicist and received a note from his lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler. The message denied many remarks, while defending others. He said “there is nothing sexual or inappropriate” about the tennis ball line and called it “absurd.” Andrew also said that the rapist line was “purposely taken out of context.”

“Mr. Johansson was discussing his acting career and imitating the types of brute characters he has portrayed on television,” he added. “For Ms. Cheng to impute to Mr. Johansson the negative traits of the characters he has played on TV is reckless and defamatory on its face.”

You can read the full statement here.

— Emily Longeretta