Why Anna Faris Can't Sue Over Alleged Harassment by Director Ivan Reitman

Anna Faris would probably not be able to sue after naming Hollywood heavyweight Ivan Reitman alleged harassment after recently accusing him of being her assaulter.

Reitman died in February but, based on the known facts, a statute of limitations means Faris could not seek justice even from his estate.

The Mom actress described the "reign of terror" the cast and crew endured on set working with Reitman in 2006 during an interview with Lena Dunham.

Faris told Dunham on her podcast, Anna Faris Is Unqualified how Reitman "slapped [her] ass" in front of everyone and "yelled" at her.

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The experience of working with the late Reitman on the 2006 rom-com My Super Ex-Girlfriend left Faris feeling "angry, hurt and humiliated."

She told Dunham: "One of my hardest film experiences was with Ivan Reitman. I mean, the idea of attempting to make a comedy under this, like, reign of terror, he was a yeller.

"He would bring down somebody every day…and my first day, it was me."

Dunham said that Faris was not "the first person who's reported that" about Reitman's alleged on-set behavior.

Faris admitted she felt she could not do anything about the incident because "it was, like, 2006," before the #MeToo movement helped empower victims of abuse in Hollywood.

Gavin Polone, a producer of My Super Ex-Girlfriend, told Deadline, "I never saw that incident, or heard about it, but I would not have any reason to dispute Anna's account, either. If Anna says it happened, I believe her. If it had happened in front of me, I certainly would have confronted Ivan about it. I'm sad to think Anna was demeaned in that way."

Discrimination lawyer Andrew Lieb told Newsweek "while this wrongful act clearly constitutes sex discrimination and would support a really good case, there is likely not going to be a successful lawsuit that results."

Lieb explained that reason was not because Reitman was dead, because Faris could still sue his estate.

"The real issue is how long ago the alleged incident happened, which was around 2006," he told Newsweek.

"Simply, there is no discrimination statute of limitations throughout the country that provides for a case from that long ago.

"That said, states, like New York, have extended the statute of limitations for victims of certain sexual crimes to 20 years and perhaps, if more happened than just the alleged slapping of her butt and it occurred, at least in part, within one of these states, she would still have a claim. Yet, on the facts that we know, there is no case."

Faris' recent chat with Dunham was not the first time Faris spoke about the on-set abuse. She also discussed the interaction on her podcast in 2017 but stopped short of naming Reitman.

Faris said she "was doing a scene where I was on a ladder and I was supposed to be taking books off a shelf and he slapped my ass in front of the crew so hard. And all I could do was giggle.

"I remember looking around and I remember seeing the crew members being like, Wait, what are you going to do about that? That seemed weird," she said.

"And that's how I dismissed it. I was like, 'Well, this isn't a thing. Like, it's not that big of a deal. Buck up, Faris. Like, just giggle.' But it made me feel small. He wouldn't have done that to the lead male."

The actress also spoke about how Reitman cast her for her "great legs," but the "compliment" still made her uncomfortable.

"Listen, that's a f***ing great compliment. I like my legs. But that sort of informed my whole experience with that whole project," she said.

"I don't think the male lead got hired because he had great legs. Therefore, I felt like I'm hired because of these elements, not because of [talent]."

Reitman died in February this year and is best known for directing films such as Ghostbusters, Kindergarten Cop, Twins and Meatballs.

Newsweek reached out to Faris for comment.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, please call the RAINN national helpline for support: 800.656.HOPE (4673).