San Diego

Storm of Sexual Harassment Claims Place Spotlight on San Diego's Scandals

“This isn’t just about a few bad actors. This is about power players in every industry,” Laura Fink said.

As the sexual harassment claims mount against Hollywood stars and business leaders, some are now comparing the scandals to the one four years ago involving former Congressman and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

Laura Fink, the second woman to come forward publicly to say that she had been groped by Filner, said it is “remarkable” to see how many women are feeling empowered to acknowledge they’ve been victims of sexual harassment.

“This isn’t just about a few bad actors. This is about power players in every industry,” Fink said.

Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman, "Entourage" star Jeremy Piven and "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner all face new accusations of sexual misconduct.

In addition, a second actor has come forward with allegations against Kevin Spacey.

“There are moments we’re at a tipping point, and I feel like this is one of those moments,” Fink said.

Legal analyst Dan Eaton said the laws regarding sexual harassment are pretty clear, but that not all acts of sexual harassment are legally actionable.

“Sexual harassment has to be sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the work environment,” Eaton said. “So there are acts of sexual harassment – an unfortunate pat on the behind, a misdirected word—things like that may be sexually harassing behavior without being legally actionable sexual harassment.”

Eaton said the problem isn’t with the law but the culture in which this type of behavior can flourish.

"We seem to be in a teachable moment where all of that kind of conduct is unacceptable, and that there will be reputational consequences, career consequences, even if there are not legal consequences, and that may end up being just as important,” Eaton said.

Fink agreed, and she hopes this moment will last.

"When we turn to other stories and concerns, my hope is that we will change the system and the structure and the culture so that we can make sure that this accountability remains," Fink said.

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