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Julianna Margulies recalls encounter with Steven Seagal: 'He made sure that I saw his gun.'

Julianna Margulies recalls encounter with Steven Seagal as he and Louis C.K. are latest stars to face sexual misconduct allegations

US action movie actor Steven Seagal and US comedian-actor Louis C.K. were the latest stars in the crosshairs of mounting sexual misconduct allegations on Thursday, following the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

Australian-born actress Portia de Rossi accused Seagal over an undated audition for a movie of his in his office.

"He told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants," de Rossi tweeted late on Wednesday.

"I ran out and called my agent. Unfazed, she replied, 'Well, I did not know if he was your type.'"

US actress Jenny McCarthy, who first accused Seagal in 1998, on Thursday revisited her encounter with him when auditioning for his 1995 movie Under Siege 2, when he allegedly asked her twice to lower her dress.

Telling him she had been told there was no nudity, Seagal, allegedly told her "there is off-camera nudity".

After she refused and ran to her car, McCarthy said he followed her outside and told her not to tell anyone "or else".

"I thought about like, 'I was the last girl that day. How many girls had to take off their clothes? How many girls had to do more?' It just so grossed me out."

US actress Julianna Margulies last week recounted an unpleasant encounter with Seagal, with whom she appeared in the 1991 movie Out For Justice.

She said a female casting director told her Seagal wanted to go over a scene with her in his New York hotel room at night.

Margulies, who was 23 at the time, said that when she arrived, she found him alone.

"He made sure that I saw his gun, which I had never seen in real life," she told SiriusXM radio station. "I got out of there unscathed."

In a New York Times expose published on Thursday, five women accused C.K., 50, of masturbating or asking to masturbate in front of them or over the telephone in separate incidents dating from the late 1990s to 2005.

His publicist Lewis Kay said the Emmy-winning creator and star of FX's Louie, who has often joked about sexual topics and masturbation in his stand-up routines and show, "is not going to answer any questions" from the publication, adding that C.K. will issue a written statement "in the coming days".

On Thursday, the premiere of his new movie I Love You, Daddy was abruptly cancelled, and he scrapped an appearance on talk show The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

BENEFIT

HBO also said C.K. would no longer be part of benefit concert Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs that it plans to broadcast on Nov 18.

The cable network said in a statement that it was also removing his past projects from its on-demand services.

Two of the women in The New York Times article, comediennes Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, said C.K. had invited them to his hotel room after a comedy festival in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002 and then masturbated in front of them.

They told the newspaper that his behaviour was abusive.

"I think the line gets crossed when you take all your clothes off and start masturbating," said Wolov.

It is a sign of the scope of the problem when the Los Angeles County district attorney on Thursday announced the establishment of a task force to investigate widespread allegations of sexual assault in the entertainment industry.

"I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases," Mrs Jackie Lacey said.

"I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution."

- AFP/REUTERS

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