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Jeffrey Tambor quits 'Transparent'

The 73-year-old actor has played transgender character Maura Pfefferman on the show for the past four seasons.

FILE: Jeffrey Tambor. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Jeffrey Tambor has quit Transparent.

The 73-year-old actor has played transgender character Maura Pfefferman on the show for the past four seasons but has left the production following recent sexual harassment claims.

He said in a statement: "Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life. What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago.

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

Earlier this month, Tambor's former assistant Van Barnes accused the actor of making lewd comments and groping; accusations he called "baseless".

But later that month, Trace Lysette - a frequent guest star on the show - also accused the actor of harassment.

She said: "In between takes, I stood in a corner on the set as the crew reset for a wide shot. My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me. He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me. I laughed it off and rolled my eyes. I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show. When they called action, I put that moment in the corner into its own corner of my mind."

She also said she laughed off an incident when he said: "My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually," after he saw her in the wardrobe for her character.

Speaking about the accusations, Tambor said: "For the past four years, I've had the huge privilege - and huge responsibility- of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly. I know I haven't always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact. But I have never been a predator - ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express."

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