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Timothy Hutton Denies Allegations He Raped a 14-Year-Old Girl in 1983

He calls the allegations 'a failed extortion attempt'

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Lindsay MacDonald

Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, The Haunting of Hill House) has issued a strongly-worded denial in response to a report that he raped a 14-year-old girl in a hotel room back in 1983.

BuzzFeed News published a report on Monday detailing Canadian model Sera Johnston's account of an assault she alleges happened when she was 14. Johnston reportedly filed a criminal complaint against Hutton with the Vancouver Police Department last year, accusing Hutton of raping her while he was in Vancouver to film the movie Iceman. According to Johnston's account, she and two friends were invited to Hutton's hotel room where she was then raped by Hutton and sexually assaulted by one of his friends. Now 50 years old, Johnston says she never came forward before now because she did not think anyone would believe her.

In a statement to TV Guide, Hutton responded to the BuzzFeed report with an official denial, calling the allegations a "failed extortion attempt."

"For the past two-and-a-half years, I have been the target of multiple extortion attempts by a woman named Sera Dale Johnston to extract millions of dollars from me. She threatened that if I did not meet her demands, she would go to the press with a false allegation that I sexually assaulted her 37 years ago in Canada. I never assaulted Ms. Johnston," Hutton said in a statement. "Today, BuzzFeed chose to publish Ms. Johnston's false story. BuzzFeed knew the truth because they were provided with documented evidence. What's really going on here is that Ms. Johnston's extortion attempts failed. She then decided to follow through on her threat to go to the press with her false story. When I became aware of this, I went to the FBI, signed a sworn statement, and filed a criminal complaint against Ms. Johnston for extortion. I will not stop fighting to expose this story for what it is - a failed extortion attempt based on something that never happened."

Hutton's lawyer, Tom Clare, plans to send BuzzFeed a legal retraction demand and is threatening a defamation suit against the publication.

BuzzFeed's report includes graphic details from Johnston, including accusations that Hutton and another man undressed her, that Hutton raped her, and that the other man forced oral sex. BuzzFeed spoke with another teenage girl who was with Johnston that night who corroborated much of her story. BuzzFeed also interviewed five people who separately confirmed that Johnston had told them about the alleged rape, including her mother, as well as a friend she talked to only a few days after the incident. Johnston said she never pursued justice previously because until the #MeToo movement, she assumed nobody would take her word over an Oscar-winning actor's.

Hutton most recently starred in the controversial Fox drama Almost Family, about the offspring of a fertility doctor (Hutton) who used his own semen to impregnate patients without their knowledge or consent. Almost Family was canceled Monday. Fox declined to comment on the allegations against Hutton.

Hutton is next slated to appear in FX's adaptation of the Y: The Last Man comics. FX did not immediately return TV Guide's request for comment.