Fox has reportedly cancelled drama series Almost Family after a former model accused Oscar-winning star Timothy Hutton of raping her nearly four decades ago when she was 14 years old.
Sera Johnston, now 50, made the bombshell claim in a Buzzfeed News report published on Monday.
Within hours, Fox cancelled the drama series after just one season, an insider told TheWrap.
Canadian Johnston said she met Hutton in 1983 while he was in Vancouver filming Iceman, and that she and two friends were invited to the actor’s hotel room at the Denman Place Inn.
Once in the room, she said Hutton, who was 22 at the time, and one of his friends raped and sexually assaulted her.
Johnson didn’t take any legal action until 2017, at the height of the #MeToo movement. She said she didn’t come forward until then because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.
She hired a lawyer to seek a $1.5million settlement from Hutton and the parties reached a $135,000 deal, before Johnson backed out because she couldn’t stomach the fact that it didn’t include an admission that the assault occurred.
Actor Timothy Hutton (pictured, left, in May 2019) has been accused of rape by former model Sera Johnston (right) nearly four decades ago when she was 14 years old in 1983
Hutton starred in Fox drama Almost Family, which finished its first season in February. The show was reportedly axed after the allegations were published
She went on to file a criminal complaint against Hutton with the Vancouver Police Department in 2018. That investigation is ongoing.
Two years later, Johnson said she brought her story to Buzzfeed because she got tired of ignoring the voice in her head that was constantly telling her to let it out.
A lawyer for Hutton responded to the new report by saying that the actor had never met Johnston and he ‘completely and unequivocally’ denies the ‘fabricated’ accusations.
‘[Hutton] will not spend one more minute dignifying these allegations as they are patently false and designed only to extort money from him,’ the lawyer told Buzzfeed.
He said Johnston’s story contains ‘patently false, scurrilous and defamatory statements’ and said there is no evidence to support the ‘salacious, heinous, and graphic details of this made-up sexual encounter that supposedly occurred 36 years ago’.
Almost Family – which finished its first season last month – starred Hutton as a fertility doctor who used his own genetic material to conceive dozens of children.
Fox and studio Universal Television declined to comment to TheWrap about whether the cancellation was related to the allegations against Hutton. It had drawn 2.5million viewers according to Nielsen’s ‘most current’ data.
Johnston said she met Hutton, then 22, while he was in Vancouver filming Iceman, and that she and two friends were invited to the actor’s hotel room at the Denman Place Inn. Once in the room, she said Hutton (above in 1983) and one of his friends raped and sexually assaulted her
A lawyer for Hutton (pictured in May 2019) responded to a Buzzfeed report detailing Johnston’s allegations by saying the actor ‘completely and unequivocally’ denied them
Johnston said she was 14 years old when she and two friends from junior high began chatting with Hutton at a Vancouver restaurant in 1983.
Already a working actress at the time, Johnson said spending time with her ‘idol’ Hutton, who had just won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Ordinary People, and his friends was a dream come true.
‘It was like we were entertaining them — cute. We were funny, you know what I mean?’ Johnston told BuzzFeed, describing how she didn’t think twice when Hutton suggested that she and her friends join his crew in his hotel room.
It wasn’t until they got to the room that Johnston began to feel the situation wasn’t as innocent as she’d thought.
As Hutton and his friends offered the girls drinks, Johnson took a seat by the TV before the actor sat down next to her.
‘He was getting very close to me, like, you know, really kind of sidling up to me, and petting my legs and stuff,’ she said. ‘I was just, like: “I think this is going to be bad. I was really wrong about this.”‘
Johnston said she was then led into Hutton’s bedroom. She claimed he asked her if she’d ever had sex before one of his friends entered the room.
She said she repeatedly told the men she wanted to leave, but they ignored her protestations, telling her: ‘It’ll be okay, it’ll be okay. It won’t last long, and you’ll be fine.’
She recalled becoming frozen with fear as the men undressed her ‘like a doll’ and described what they were going to do to her in an ‘almost ritualistic’ way.
She claimed Hutton told her she would like it and that his friend was going to watch.
Johnston said Hutton took his clothes off, got on top of her and thrust himself inside her as she begged: ‘Please, don’t do this. I can’t do it. I can’t.’
‘It hurt like hell,’ she said. ‘I mean, it was very painful. God. Yeah, it was extremely painful. Horrible, horrible, absolutely horrible.’
She said sometime during the assault Hutton’s friend put his erect penis in her mouth, which was filled with train-track braces and rubber bands, as she cried for him to stop.
Johnson said Hutton told his friend to stop, but then carried on himself and ‘finished raping me’.
The alleged assault occurred a couple years after Hutton won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Ordinary People. He is seen accepting the award in 1981
Johnson said the assault occurred at the Denman Place Inn in Vancouver (above in a file photo)
To corroborate Johnson’s story, Buzzfeed spoke to six people who confirmed that she had told them about the alleged assault over the years.
One of those people was one of the two friends who was at the hotel with Johnson on the night when she said it happened. That friend signed an affidavit, under penalty of perjury, backing up her recollections.
Another was Johnston’s mother, who said that they had considered going to police at the time but feared her daughter would be blackballed from the film industry if she did.
Buzzfeed also approached Hutton’s lawyers, who tried to halt the publication of the story, the outlet claimed.
The lawyers provided a 91-page letter explaining in-depth why Johnson’s claims were not credible and accusing her of lying to extort money from Hutton.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Police Department is still investigating her claims, according to Johnston’s attorney Neil Chantler.
‘Lauren Johnston has great courage coming forward with her story and we are confident the justice system is going to hold the perpetrators to account for their crimes,’ Chantler told Buzzfeed.
‘The Vancouver Police Department is taking Ms. Johnston’s case very seriously and has launched an investigation.’