Hitchcock was 'evil', says Birds star Hedren

The director sexually harrassed his leading lady, it's claimed

Actress Tippi Hedren has said that Alfred Hitchcock was 'evil' and subjected her to sexual harassment.Hitchcock and Hedren... actress claims director was 'evil' (Copyright: PA)

Hedren starred in Hitchcock's 1963 thriller 'The Birds', and added that if laws surrounding harassment had existed in the 60s, she'd be 'a very rich woman'.

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“I think he was an extremely sad character,” she said.

“We are dealing with a brain here that was an unusual genius, and evil, and deviant, almost to the point of dangerous, because of the effect that he could have on people that were totally unsuspecting.”

The comments come after Hedren, mother of actress Melanie Griffith, joined the cast of 'The Girl', a new HBO film about her relationship with the director based on the book 'Spellbound By Beauty'.

In the film, which stars Sienna Miller as Hedren, Toby Jones as Hitchcock and Imelda Staunton as Hitchcock's wife Alma, the director is portrayed as a sexual predator who later punished Hedren for spurning his advances.

In one scene in the film, she is forced to live with birds for five days in preparation for a scene, while in another Hitchcock let loose live birds without warning after telling her that mechanical birds would be used.

After refusing to star in any more of his films, following her role in 'Marnie' in 1964, he reputedly stopped Hedren from working in Hollywood for two years by upholding a contract meaning she could not accept other roles.

“He ruined my career but he didn't ruin my life,” she added.