The Project Respond To Richard Dreyfuss’ Claims That He Was 'Mugged' During Interview

"I'm shocked and and a bit disappointed in this whole thing. I don't really understand it."

The hosts of The Project have hit back at actor Richard Dreyfuss after he claimed that he was “mugged by the host and hostesses of The Project” after the actor appeared alongside Kathleen Turner on The Sunday Project.

Appearing on TODAY Extra this morning in a live-cross from Perth, the 70-year-old read a lengthy statement saying he was “disappointed” about the interview which he believed would be “light and friendly” and accused the hosts of "commit[ing] a breach of ethical behaviour."

Richard Dreyfuss Says He Was 'Mugged' By Lisa Wilkinson

The drama comes after Hamish McDonald and Lisa Wilkinson questioned the actor about his previous allegations of sexual misconduct and behaviour in regards to the #MeToo movement.

"I sinned. Between the years like '79 and '82 or '83, I was a low down dirty dog. I did lots of things that I'm ashamed of now, but they were all culturally supported, as all men know, and all women know, they just don't want to remember it that way," he told The Project on Sunday.
Richard Dreyfuss On The Sunday Project

Following his statement, Hamish McDonald addressed the accusations on tonight's episode of The Project.

"I have to say I'm shocked and and a bit disappointed in this whole thing. I don't really understand it. Some things worth pointing out: His people were very clearly told that he intended to ask questions about allegations that had been made about him and that he had spoken about in the past.”

He added, “We have also got the emails to prove that we told them we were going to ask questions about that. Don't forget, this is man who publicly said that in the 1970s at the height of his fame he'd disrespected himself and women and ignored his own ethics."

As journalists, there was just no way that we could not ask him about it, and we also gave him the option in writing of not appearing on the program if he wasn't prepared to talk about it. The fact that someone who described his own behaviour in that way would now seek to play the victim is frankly a bit hard to understand. For what it's worth, he gave a frank, honest and thoughtful response to our questions. I don't understand why he's said what he's said today.

It echoed the sentiments of Lisa Wilkinson, who earlier today shot down Dreyfuss’ statement via Twitter.

"We wrote to Mr Dreyfuss' publicist 3days prior to our Sunday @theprojecttv informing we would ask about #metoo allegations against him & his statement," Wilkinson wrote. "If he didn't want to discuss it, we were happy to have Kathleen Turner alone. We were assured in writing he was OK with it," she wrote.

Network Ten also issued a statement denying that Dreyfuss had been misled as to the contents of the interview.

"In written correspondence with the Supanova publicist, an interview brief was provided three days prior which included the line of questioning The Project panel would put to both Richard Dreyfuss and Kathleen Turner. This included a discussion about their appearances at Supanova but also that the panel would address the #MeToo campaign and Mr Dreyfuss’ behaviour towards women in decades past."
Catch The Project from Sunday to Friday at 6.30pm on Ten and on Tenplay.