Glee star Lea Michele has publicly apologised after being accused of making a former co-star’s life a “living hell” on set.
The actor issued a lengthy three-page statement on Instagram, claiming that while she doesn’t “remember” the specific behaviour she’d been accused of, she had “clearly acted in ways which hurt other people”.
“Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times, or whether it was just my immaturity and me being unnecessarily difficult, I apologise for my behaviour,” Michele wrote.
The star, who played Rachel Berry on all six seasons of Glee, is currently expecting her first baby with husband Zandy Reich, and added that she “wanted to be a real role model” for their child.
“We can all grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”
But far from placating those who have spoken against her recently, Michele’s apology sparked a whole new wave of accusations from others she had worked with in the past, including claims she called Glee extras “cockroaches” and had people “fired on a whim”.
Writer and editor Evan Ross Katz shared some of the furious responses in a thread on Twitter, including accusations from Michele’s former co-stars from Broadway musical Spring Awakening, another crew member from Glee – and even a former castmate of Real Housewives of New York.
These are just the latest in a string of accusations of bad workplace behaviour facing the actress.
Michele’s apology came after Samantha Ware, who played Jane Hayward on Glee for its sixth season in 2015, responded to a tweet written by Michele amid the riots in the US after George Floyd’s death at the hands of police.
Michele, who played the show’s leading lady Rachel Berry, wrote, “George Floyd did not deserve this. This was not an isolated incident and it must end. #BlackLivesMatter”.
In a shocking response to the tweet, Ware publicly confronted Michele, alleging she made her time on the show a “living hell”.
In her all-caps response to Michele’s tweet, Ware wrote that she would “never forget” the “traumatic microagressions” she claims to have received from Michele – including a shocking allegation that Michele had “told everyone that if you had the opportunity you would ‘s**t in my wig!’”
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Shortly after Ware posted her tweet, food delivery brand HelloFresh announced it was ending its partnership with Michele, who had been working as one of its ambassadors.
“HelloFresh does not condone racism nor discrimination of any kind. We are disheartened and disappointed to learn of the recent claims concerning Lea Michele,” the company tweeted from its official account.
“We take this very seriously, and have ended our partnership with Lea Michele, effective immediately.”
Ware has been fiercely supported by other Glee cast members with at least four coming forward backing her claims, including central cast members Alex Newell (Unique Adams) and Amber Riley (Mercedes Jones), who weighed in with not-so-cryptic responses.
Responding to fans who questioned the version of events, Newell wrote: “Child we ain’t got not a damn thing to lie about 6 years later!”
Riley tweeted several GIFs of herself throwing knowing glances as the original tweet gained traction on social media.
Popular drag queen and actor Willam Belli also weighed in, saying he left the set of Glee after Michele treated him “subhuman”. Belli is understood to have been booked for an episode in 2012 but never ended up appearing on the series.
An extra actor named Dabier also detailed his experience after appearing in an episode of the show in 2014, responding to the tweet revealing Michele told him he “couldn’t sit at her table” because he “didn’t belong there”.