LOS ANGELES — A woman on Monday said she was a 17-year-old model and aspiring actress when Steven Seagal sexually assaulted her at a supposed casting session at a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2002. She is one of a growing number of women to accuse the action star of sexual misconduct during an audition; Portia de Rossi and Jenny McCarthy have told similar stories.
Faviola Dadis was emotional but composed as she spoke at a news conference in Los Angeles. She said Seagal reached under her bikini top, grabbed her nipples and then grabbed her genitals soon after the audition began. She said she promptly ended the audition and left deeply shaken.
"I have suffered from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, have found it difficult to form trusting relationships with men," Dadis said through tears as she read from a written statement.
She recently filed a report with police, and Los Angeles prosecutors said Monday that her case is under review.
Dadis spoke at the news conference alongside her attorney, Lisa Bloom, and another woman, Regina Simons, who said Seagal sexually assaulted her in 1995 when she was 18,on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" in January.
Seagal's attorney Anthony Falangetti said the actor adamantly denies the allegations.
"These claims by the two women who spoke today are completely fictitious and totally made up," Falangetti told The Associated Press in a phone interview later Monday.
He said it was implausible that either woman ended up unaccompanied with Seagal in the ways they said they were.
"Neither one of their accounts is at all believable," Falangetti said.
Dadis, now a 33-year-old doctoral candidate in clinical neuroscience, said that in 2002 she had recently moved to the U.S. from the Netherlands when a music producer introduced her to Seagal. After several phone calls and text messages, Seagal invited Dadis to a hotel room in Beverly Hills for the late-night casting session for a film he planned to make about Genghis Khan, Dadis said.
Dadis brought a family friend because her mother was suspicious, but the person stayed in the lobby and she ended up in a room with only Seagal and his personal security guard.
Seagal had told her to wear a bikini or bra and panties under her clothes, and had her walk around the room in the bikini before saying he wanted to test their chemistry together and started touching her, Dadis said.
"Steven sat there calmly as if nothing had happened while I was noticeably upset and terrified by the experience," she said. "I left feeling horrified and totally violated."
She said she told friends after about a month, but did not go to authorities at the time because she feared being blacklisted in the entertainment industry. She said Seagal later called her, but she never accepted the calls.
Dadis said she was inspired by the recent wave of reports of sexual misconduct by men in the entertainment industry, and was spurred to come forward especially after actress Portia de Rossi said Seagal once unzipped his pants during an audition with her."My final audition for a Steven Segal movie took place in his office. He told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants. I ran out and called my agent. Unfazed, she replied, 'well, I didn't know if he was your type.'"
Actress Jenny McCarthy has also said Seagal sexually harassed her at an audition in 1995. She said that Seagal asked her to show him her breasts during an audition. She said he claimed the movie called for "off-camera nudity."
"I paused, I looked up at him, went from shocked to sadness, my eyes filled with water and I yelled, 'Go buy my Playboy video — it's on sale for $19.99' and just took off," she said. McCarthy said Seagal followed her to her car and told her not to tell anyone, "or else."
Julianna Margulies also claimed she once narrowly escaped a frightening encounter with Seagal. She said on SiriusXM's "Just Jenny" that when she was 23, a female casting director called her and asked her to come meet Seagal in his hotel room in the evening and assured her she would be there. When Margulies arrived, only Seagal was in the hotel room and he showed her that he had a gun.
Margulies said, "And he made sure that I saw his gun, which I had never seen a gun in real life. And I got out of there unscathed." She did not elaborate on Seagal's actions but said the night was "horrific" for her.
Seagal has denied the actresses' allegations.
Dadis and Simons' allegations were first reported by TheWrap.