[Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault.]
Hollywood costume designer Susan Bertram has come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Prison Break alum Robert Knepper. Bertram tells The Hollywood Reporter that while working on the 1992 Allison Anders film Gas Food Lodging with Knepper, the actor assaulted her when she brought clothes to his trailer. She says that at the time, Knepper “grabbed her crotch “‘as hard as he could’” before shoving her against a wall and saying “I’m going to fuck your brains out.” Bertram managed to get free, shouting “I’m working, I’m working!,” before running out of the trailer, where she says she just fell to her knees in the dirt. When she looked herself over later, Bertram saw that Knepper had ripped the crotch of her tights, and she was bleeding. As she describes it, Knepper “gouged at her vulva during the assault and a piece of her flesh and some pubic hair had been torn out.” Afterward, she “sat there and cried for a while. My dress was torn, I was dirty. I just sat there and got myself together and went back to the wardrobe trailer.”
The Six Feet Under and The Originals costume designer tells THR why she didn’t come forward sooner. “Even if I had said something, what were they going to do? Fire their lead actor? It would have been a fucking joke,” she says. Despite the flood of sexual assault and harassment disclosures, including two in-depth investigations into Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior, Bertram was actually motivated to tell her story by our current commander in chief: “I kind of buried it for a long time until Trump came out with his ‘Grab ’em by the pussy’ thing. When that happened, I started reeling. People think that’s a joke, but that really happened to me.”
Knepper denied Bertram’s account on Instagram.