As far as human beings who simultaneously exist as internet memes go, Steven Seagal is pretty inarguably one of the worst. God knows we’ve gotten a lot of schadenfreude-y joy over the years out of his terrible haircuts, worse movies, and bizarre, entirely unwarranted self-confidence on matters like mixed martial arts and Russian politics. But there’s also an aspect of Seagal where the funny falls off, and only the creepy remains, and it’s situated dead center in his long history of alleged harassment and abusive treatment toward women.
Earlier this month, we reported on the account of actress Lisa Guerrero, who recounted an “audition” for 1997's Fire Down Below at Seagal’s home, where he greeted her in a silk robe, seemed annoyed that she’d wisely forced the movie’s casting director to accompany her, and told her he needed a private rehearsal with her, alone, before she could get the part. Guerrero’s account was just the latest in a long line of accusations of harassment and other creepy, invasive behavior from Seagal, with women across the years alleging that he frequently made inappropriate comments to them, touting his skills as a “massage expert,” and brushing up against them—and worse—in an unwanted sexual manner. (Uproxx has a pretty good, albeit two-years-old, round-up of the various claims against Seagal here.)
Now, just a few days after The Daily Mail released audio of Seagal calling female reporters who dared to question him a wide variety of unpleasant, derogatory names, a decades-old picture of the actor is making the rounds on the internet, presumably as a blatant reminder of just what kind of guy Seagal (allegedly) is under all his blustering and cultural pretensions. Taken during the promotional tour for Under Siege 2—from an era when a Steven Seagal action sequel still qualified for any kind of press interest other than pure derision—it shows Seagal pretty clearly putting his hand on the breast of his 16-year-old co-star Katherine Heigl. In public. Shamelessly. You know, like you do.
Heigl actually talked about her time on the set with Seagal recently, during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show. Back in the pre-Weinstein revelation days, she and Kimmel laughed about the picture, and Seagal’s lecherous behavior, but the anecdote itself is still unsurprisingly gross:
“The last day of shooting, and again, I had just turned 16 on this movie. And he said, ‘You know Katie, I got girlfriends your age.’ And I said, ‘Isn’t that illegal?’ And he said, ‘They don’t seem to mind.’ And I said, ‘Mom!’ I’m not making that up.”
Anyway, fuck Steven Seagal.