Former “CSI” casting employee Andy Henry was fired from the hit TV drama and by his own firm in 2008 after he reportedly urged actresses auditioning for him to undress during private casting sessions, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Wednesday. Henry told the publication the practice was a "coaching technique" that was "foolish."
Since he was let go from "CSI," Henry has worked on major films, including “The Descendants,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Elysium."
Five women chose to come forward after the Harvey Weinstein scandal and told the publication they felt “preyed on” by Henry.
They described how he would allegedly target women at paid evening audition classes he taught at workshops in Los Angeles by offering to provide one-on-one coaching sessions to help boost their careers in the entertainment industry. The women said he typically asked them to work on a scene where a woman is battling a skin disorder called hypertrichosis.
Jenny Kern, who met Henry at the drama school Reel Pros, said she was initially flattered when he offered to provide private sessions. However, she said when Henry declared her acting “needed more vulnerability,” he asked Kerns to remove her bra so she could “better access the self-consciousness of the hypertrichosis sufferer.”
“[He] incrementally asked me to take my clothes off,” said Kern. “He started saying things, improvising as this detective character: ‘I can see your t--s,’ ‘I can see you shave your p---y.’ He did it until I finally cried."
Aspiring actress Jacqueline Mueller, who served as an intern in 2008 at Henry’s casting office Ulrich/Dawson/Kritzer. She shared a similar experience with The Hollywood Reporter.
“Then he asked me to unzip my sweater,” she said. “If I’d unzipped it, I would’ve been topless. I felt disgusted and bamboozled.”
Mueller claimed Henry offered her whiskey as well.
Tessa Goss, who was pregnant with her third child when she met Henry at acting center ITA, said he appeared frustrated when he first made his bold suggestion.
“’This is going to seem super-crazy, but don’t think it’s super weird,’” Goss recalled him saying. “… His thing was that [the performance] would feel more authentic if you can feel your nipples against your clothes. I thought, ‘I need to get out of here.’ But there’s also this sick actor part of me that thought, ‘I need to get out of here as friends.'”
Instead of removing her bra and exposing her baby bump, Goss left.
Catherine Black, who rejected Henry’s request for her to disrobe during a private session, said she felt “shame that I wasn’t serious about learning my craft.”
“It really planted a seed in my head, that maybe I wasn’t good enough,” she added. “Of, what did I do wrong? It made me feel ashamed.”
Henry gave The Hollywood Reporter a statement about the allegations.
"Nine years ago, I tried what I thought was a coaching technique, but which I learned very quickly was foolish and foolhardy. It was brought to light almost immediately, and as you were correctly informed, I was terminated from my employment in 2008 as a result.
“I was then, and remain to this day, profoundly sorry about these incidents. I took responsibility right away for using nudity as a technique to explore the vulnerability portrayed in a scene, without being cognizant of the potential damage to the human being in the room... I never meant to make anyone feel pressured into doing anything, nor did I ever consciously intend to hurt anyone."
Henry said he has since embraced religion after experiencing personal and professional setbacks.
“I have formally converted to Judaism, I have dedicated my life to the service of God and to trying to make some repair in this world. And I have striven to live and work every day as honorably and as honestly as possible. I am, again, inexpressibly sorry for the pain that these incidents caused."