Faye Dunaway is having a rough summer.
Once called the worst person in Hollywood by Bette Davis, the Academy Award winner is once again in hot water amid the unfolding disaster of her busted Broadway bow in “Tea at Five.” Last month, she was fired from the Broadway play because of allegedly bizarre behavior including hurling objects at crew members and slapping her wig-fitting team, throwing salad on the floor, and insisting no one wear white to rehearsal because it’s distracting.
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Now, according to Page Six, she’s being sued by one of her handlers who alleges she verbally harassed him by calling him a “little homosexual boy.” The plaintiff, Michael Rocha, was tasked with running Dunaway’s errands, helping her take her meds, managing her schedule, and transporting her to and from rehearsals of the play, which is now being recast and mounted in London. Per Rocha’s court papers, Dunaway “regularly and relentlessly subjected plaintiff to abusive demeaning tirades” and used his sexual orientation to “demean and humiliate him at work.” He has also turned in audio evidence of her abuse.
Rocha, who was fired on June 12 under the guise that Dunaway was no longer “comfortable” working with him, also alleges that the “Network” and “Chinatown” star called other workers “little gay people.”
Poor Faye can’t catch a break. Back in 2017, she publicly humiliated herself when she erroneously named “La La Land” as the Best Picture winner on the Oscars stage, when “Moonlight” was the actual winner. It was not her fault that she and co-presenter Warren Beatty were handed the wrong envelope. She’s evidently still reeling from the trauma of it all.
Dunaway is no stranger to being called a diva. “Chinatown” director Roman Polanski once told a Rolling Stone reporter she was “a gigantic pain in the ass” following a film shoot rife with on-set hostility. Peter Biskind’s Hollywood tell-all “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” alleges that, while filming “Chinatown,” Dunaway had the nasty habit of urinating into trash cans and once, rumor has it, chucked a cup of her urine into Polanski’s face. (Dunaway later told The Guardian that the accusation “doesn’t even deserve the dignity of a response.”)
Back in the 1990s, Dunaway also allegedly would drive up to a now-shuttered West Hollywood video store and wait for someone to come collect her tapes. If they took too long, she would “just toss them out the window.” In 2008, Dunaway left this gem of a voicemail for a journalist who was too focused on her controversial turn as Joan Crawford in the camp classic “Mommie Dearest.” The laundry list of Dunaway’s diva ways goes on and on.
Her performance as Katharine Hepburn in “Tea at Five” was fraught from the start, with the actress allegedly forgetting her lines, showing up late, and complaining about the lighting. While starring in the play in Boston, the actress apparently butchered her lines mid-performance, and complained about an audience member’s hat.
According to the now-unfolding lawsuit, Rocha wrote in an email to “Tea at Five”‘s general manager, “As I told you on Friday, she still thinks I’m her 24/7 servant and went off on me because I was not there yesterday afternoon or this morning doing her dishes…I worked for her 14 days straight now, and still doing my best to get her to rehearsals on time.”
IndieWire reached out for comment from Dunaway’s manager, who is currently on vacation.