LOS ANGELES -- Jeffrey Tambor may be leaving Amazon's "Transparent." The actor, who plays transgender matriarch Maura Pfefferman on the highly highly acclaimed show, says he doesn't see how he can return to the series following two allegations of sexual harassment against him.
In an ambiguous statement Sunday, Tambor referenced what he calls a "politicized atmosphere" that has afflicted the set. He also says that the idea that he would deliberately harass anyone is untrue.
Two women have come forward over the past few weeks to accuse Tambor of sexual harassment, including "Transparent" actress Trace Lysette and his former assistant.
who is herself transgender, said in a statement to Deadline on Thursday that when she emerged from wardrobe in a costume of a lingerie top and shorts for a scene with Tambor, he said, "My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually."
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>Lysette said she and another actress laughed off the remark, but then Tambor approached her between scenes a few minutes later.
>"He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrust back and forth against my body," Lysette said. "I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas."
>Lysette urged Amazon in her statement to "remove the problem and let the show go on."
>Amazon Studios says it is adding the information to an investigation of Tambor it opened last week when his former assistant Van Barnes made similar allegations, saying Tambor groped her, made lewd comments
and threatened to sue if she told anyone. Tambor denied the claims, calling
>Tambor said in a statement that he can be difficult to work with, but denied any sexual misbehavior.
>"I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone," he said. "But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express."
>Tambor has won two Emmys and one Golden Globe for his role on the show, which is now in its fourth season. Many interpreted his words to mean that he was leaving the show, which has not been confirmed.
>Representatives for Amazon did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.