01.05.2018

Broadway star Ben Vereen accused of sexual assault during production of 'Hair'

Broadway star Ben Vereen accused of sexual assault during production of 'Hair' Ben Vereen on Aug. 8, 2016, in Beverly Hills.(Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Broadway legend Ben Vereen apologized Friday for "inappropriate" sexual conduct against young women in a 2015 production of Hair he directed at a community theater in Venice, Fla. The theater announced it will "strengthen" its sexual harassment policies, including reporting offenses to police.

The allegations against Vereen, 71, include sexual groping, unwanted kisses, aggressive hugs, naked acting exercises, hot-tub encounters at his residence, and lewd comments about the accusers' weight, sex appeal and personal lives.

Vereen did not deny the claims in a statement sent to USA TODAY by his publicist, Lawrence Kopp. 

"I would like to apologize directly to the female cast members of the musical Hair for my inappropriate conduct when I directed the production in 2015," he said in the statement, which he later posted on Twitter.

For the full article, visit USAToday.com/Life.