Timothy Hutton denies rape claim by former actress, threatens to sue BuzzFeed for running story

Timothy Hutton is denying a report from BuzzFeed that he raped a 14-year-old Canadian actress in 1983, and also threatening to sue the digital news outlet for defamation for running the story.

Sera Dale Johnston, now 50, alleged to BuzzFeed News in a lengthy interview published Monday that Hutton raped her in a Vancouver hotel room in 1983 when she was 14 years old.

Johnston claimed Hutton was in the Canadian seaport town filming "Iceman" years ago when he and some friends invited her group to his hotel room and provided drinks to the young females. The former actress then alleged Hutton made her uncomfortable and questioned whether or not she ever had sex before undressing her and thrusting himself inside of her.

The ex-model claimed that a second male, the actor's friend, witnessed the alleged rape and then assaulted her as well by forcing her to provide him oral sex.

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Timothy Hutton attends the Netflix FYSEE Event for "Haunting of Hill House" at Raleigh Studios on May 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)

Timothy Hutton attends the Netflix FYSEE Event for "Haunting of Hill House" at Raleigh Studios on May 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix) (Getty)

"I mean, it was very painful. God. Yeah, it was extremely painful. Horrible, horrible, absolutely horrible," Johnston alleged to the outlet.

Hutton, 59, denied the claims to Fox News in a statement provided by his rep on Tuesday. He said the former Canadian actress and model has a history of attempting to extort him.

"For the past two-and-a-half years, I have been the target of multiple extortion attempts by a woman named Sera Dale Johnston to extract millions of dollars from me. She threatened that if I did not meet her demands, she would go to the press with a false allegation that I sexually assaulted her 37 years ago in Canada. I never assaulted Ms. Johnston," Hutton said.

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Megalyn Echikunwoke, Timothy Hutton, Mo McRae and guest star Daniel Cosgrove in the Season Finale episode of "Almost Family."

Megalyn Echikunwoke, Timothy Hutton, Mo McRae and guest star Daniel Cosgrove in the Season Finale episode of "Almost Family." (JoJo Whilden/FOX)

His statement calls BuzzFeed's interview with Johnston, which was posted Monday, "false."

The actor's response continues: "What's really going on here is that Ms. Johnston's extortion attempts failed. She then decided to follow through on her threat to go to the press with her false story. When I became aware of this, I went to the FBI, signed a sworn statement, and filed a criminal complaint against Ms. Johnston for extortion. I will not stop fighting to expose this story for what it is -- a failed extortion attempt based on something that never happened."

Johnston told BuzzFeed she also filed a complaint of the same accusations with the Vancouver Police Department last year. Attorneys for Johnston did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment regarding Hutton's response Tuesday.

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Brittany Snow, Emily Osment and guest star Victoria Clark in the Season Finale episode of "Almost Family."

Brittany Snow, Emily Osment and guest star Victoria Clark in the Season Finale episode of "Almost Family." (JoJo Whilden/FOX)

Hutton is now threatening to sue the publication and Johnston for defamation if a retraction is not made, according to a statement provided to Fox News by the actor's defamation counsel, Tom Clare.

"There was no encounter of any kind here, and certainly no sexual assault," Clare writes, adding that the publication who reported the allegations has "shamefully disregarded the facts and allowed itself to be used by Ms. Johnston."

Clare said Hutton filed a criminal complaint with the FBI "long before" Johnston made her own report to the police. The defamation attorney's statement adds that the publication "disregarded multiple sworn declarations from neutral third parties that absolutely show Ms. Johnston's allegations to be false" and ignored "hard evidence."

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Timothy Hutton starred in 'Almost Family' on Fox.

Timothy Hutton starred in 'Almost Family' on Fox. (JoJo Whilden/FOX.)

Clare shared he would be sending BuzzFeed a legal retraction demand on behalf of Hutton and further warned the actor is "prepared to take any and all necessary steps, including the filing of a defamation lawsuit, to clear his name and to hold BuzzFeed and Ms. Johnston accountable for their reckless and self-serving efforts to destroy Tim's reputation and career."

BuzzFeed News appeared to stand by its reporting one day after it published the story, stressing to Fox News in a statement that it interviewed multiple people with knowledge of the actor's alleged sex crime.

"BuzzFeed News’ reporting on the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by Timothy Hutton is based on interviews with the alleged victim, the account of a woman who was with her that evening, and five separate people who were told of the assault at the time. BuzzFeed News stands unequivocally by its reporting," Matt Mittenthal, spokesperson for BuzzFeed News, said.

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The accusations against Hutton came to light on the same day reports surfaced announcing the cancellation of "Almost Family," where the actor stars opposite Brittany Snow on Fox. The show's reps declined to provide a comment to Fox News regarding the cancellation. However, Neilson ratings showed "Almost Family" averaged a 0.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and a total of 2.5 million viewers, with a week of delayed viewing, according to The Wrap.

The series also endured a schedule change before its end. After premiering last October, each episode aired on Wednesdays until the network aired its final two episodes on Saturday, Feb. 22. Reports claimed Neilsen's ratings of "Almost Family" fall in the bottom five of shows spanning ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC this season.