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Penalty stroke?



Matt Drudge links today to this bizarre story in the UK tabloid, The Mirror:

A Hollywood superstar performed a sex act on himself while enjoying a massage, a hotel worker has claimed.

The American A-list actor is said to have dropped his towel and exposed himself to the stunned masseuse.

The woman claimed he then carried out the "disgusting" act in front of her in the hotel spa.

The star—who cannot be named for legal reasons—was on a golfing holiday with his wife and staying at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland.

The masseuse, 34, told an industrial tribunal she felt "abused" by the actor's actions.

She said: "It was disgusting and, even though he was a Hollywood superstar, I couldn't believe he thought he could get away with something like that. He abused me and I considered that a criminal act.

"When I was giving his wife a massage afterwards, I wanted to tell her everything."

The woman—who is claiming unfair dismissal against Old Course Ltd—told the Dundee tribunal she had given the actor a massage the day before during which he had touched her back.

She said: "The next day he came back and asked how I was. He asked if he made me uncomfortable by touching me, but I said no, I was a professional and you have to learn to deal with difficult clients. I asked him how he liked his massage and he said he liked it sweet. I thought it a strange term to describe a massage.

"He asked me if I was comfortable touching him everywhere and I said no.

"Throughout the massage, he kept putting his hand underneath his towel but he never kept it there long enough for me to suspect anything.

"Then I moved to the top of his body to massage his head."

She told the tribunal the actor grabbed her wrist forcefully, whipped off his towel, exposed himself and performed the sex act.

The woman said she left the room but a colleague went inside and saw what had happened.

The worker claimed she was treated differently by her bosses after she complained about the alleged incident in 2004.

She said: "While before I was seen as a model worker, now they were questioning everything I did." She was sacked in August last year and is claiming sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal. The tribunal was adjourned until May.

Informed speculation in the blogosphere about the mystery superstar seems to be centering on United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas.

But just because he (a) likes to play golf at St. Andrews, especially the Dunhill Links Championship (during which the incident allegedly occurred); (b) enjoys the occasional massage "between holes"; (c) is a self-confessed sex addict; and (d) is married to a prominent actress who also like massages doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Could be any one of a zillion Hollywood superstars, right?

MORE on the story here, here, here and here.

UPDATE: Commenting on Tim Worstall's blog, "hazelnut" helpfully mentions that three other "superstar" actors attended the October 10, 2004, Dunhill Links Championship: Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid.

Costner and Quaid, however, were both married in 2004, the former in September, the latter in July. Jackson, on the other hand, has been married since 1980. Would a newlywed superstar actor feel the urge to, um, perform for a spa masseuse? Would someone who's cranking up on his silver wedding anniversary? Stranger things have happened in Hollywood, of course—but my money's still on Michael Douglas. [But keep reading …]

STOP THE PRESSES! This account of the incident, which appears on Jeff's All Celebrity Blog, adds some important new details to the story, which are missing from other press accounts:

After the Dunhill Links, the woman said she asked general manager Jonathan Stapleton if her job would be safe as new owner, the Kohlers, had taken over that very week and were reportedly close friends with the star. She added: "I was assured my job was safe".

She claims that in the following months she was held responsible for two small fires in the spa, even though she was not on duty at the time.

She said: "I was taken in and disciplined because the spa was supposed to be my responsibility. After the incident I was held responsible for everything and management undermined everything I did. Things became even more stained. While before I was seen as model worker, they were questioning everything I did. I was sent on a course to deal with difficult clients but it was pointless. It didn't help me mentally. I had to deal with my trauma and it put a huge strain on my marriage."

The woman said she was finally fired in August last year added: "I went on holiday and when I got back there was a letter waiting from an attorney of the Kohlers stating they wanting to arrange counselling. But the day I got the letter I was called into a conference with Mrs. Kohler and I was fired on the spot."

Of the four superstar "suspects," the only one I could find with a relationship to the Kohlers is … Kevin Costner.

Here's a story on Herb Kohler from Business Week:

Coming off the green, Kohler tells me he has played with everyone from former President George H.W. Bush to actor Kevin Costner and singer Amy Grant ….

Golf helped Kohler land a part in one of Costner's more recent films. The two met years ago at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and discovered their career paths mirrored each other's: Kohler initially studied drama at Yale University, and Costner majored in business at California State University at Fullerton. They have since played together many times. Then, three years ago, Costner telephoned Kohler out of the blue and asked if he wanted a part in his movie, Open Range. "I told Costner: 'O.K., I'll do it, but on two conditions: I want to ride a horse, and I want to kill someone."' There was a long pause before Costner replied: "Well, I'm not sure about the horse, but I guarantee you can kill someone." Indeed, Kohler, portraying a character described as Café Man in the credits, shoots a man in a pivotal scene.

Open Range, incidentally, had its premiere at the Stephanie H. Weill Theatre in Sheboygan, WI, next door to Kohler, WI, where the Kohler Company (yes, the ones who make the faucets with the "bold look") is headquartered. Its chairman is one Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. Its senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary is Mr. Kohler's second wife, Natalie A. Black (the one who allegedly fired the unfortunate masseuse).

Here's a not-particularly-good photograph of Herb Kohler and Kevin Costner arriving in a carriage at the Weill Theatre for the premiere of Open Range:


As I suggested above, Costner was staying at the Old Course while on his honeymoon with Christine Baumgartner. In fact, here's Christine's account of the trip:

We played in the Dunhill Links Championship, which was held in part on the Old Course at St. Andrews. A lot of our friends were there—Herb Kohler and a lot of people we play with at Pebble Beach. From there we traveled west to Gleneagles, and then we went to Florence. It was wonderful.

Wonderful, of course, except for the part where Kevin choked the chicken for a hapless masseuse in the Old Course Hotel spa.

Anyway, sorry about that, Michael. Guess maybe you're not the "sex addict" you used to be. As I said, stranger things have happened—and it would certainly seem they did.

UPDATE: Blogger extraordinaire Bernard Higgins, of A Certain Slant of Light, reminds me that what's been lost in the race to find the pervy actor is the fact that an unfortunate massage therapist has been sexually harrassed, lost her job and had her reputation sullied through no fault of her own. There was a time when the idea of a poor working girl wronged by some society big shot—abetted by the clout of an evil multinational corporation—would have formed the plot for one of those "message" pictures of which Hollywood claims to be so fond. In this instance, though, the "society big shot" is one of Hollywood's own—as, to some degree, is the head of the evil multinational. Maybe when the truth finally comes out, some brave independent filmmaker will use this story as a way to challenge Hollywood's hypocrisy in the manner of Wilder's Sunset Boulevard or Altman's The Player. I'm not wildly optimistic that'll happen, but it would certainly be refreshing if it did.

MORE on the Costner-Kohler connection here.

UPDATE (3/26): The Costner speculation has leaked into the MSM.

Posted by Rodger on March 19, 2006 at 11:31 AM | Permalink


Impressive sleuthing here! In an article unfortunately titled “Costner’s still playing around” (The Sun, Oct 9) it is reported that K. Costner and his wife, married the month before, were all over each other throughout the week. We also learn that Michael Douglas «arrived without actress wife Catherine Zeta Jones.”

Posted by: instaPI | Mar 20, 2006 5:32:17 PM

It's Michael Douglas. Catherine Zeta Jones is finally experiencing some deserved kharma.

Posted by: dave | Mar 29, 2006 11:57:55 AM

I will never believe Kevin Costner did anything so obscene. I would more likely believe it was Michael Douglas or Jackson. I think it is horrible in the first place that you would even imply Costner as being a pervert.

Posted by: Darby Callahan | Apr 23, 2006 3:53:34 PM

Hey Darby, get a clue -- Costner's a chronic womanizer-man whore-knuckleshuffler. And the truth has been leaked all over cyberland (and KC's modesty towel)!

Posted by: KnuckleShuffler | Apr 26, 2006 3:54:07 PM

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