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The Wonder Years Crewmember Alleges Fred Savage 'Forcefully' Assaulted Her

Other crewmembers claim Savage verbally abused them, an allegation he has denied.
  • Fred Savage (Photo: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)
    Fred Savage (Photo: Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection)

    Three months after Fred Savage was fired from The Wonder Years reboot due to allegations of inappropriate conduct, new details have emerged about his behavior on set.

    Savage's alleged victims spoke out in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Tuesday, with one claiming he "forcefully" assaulted her. He has denied all claims of impropriety.

    Savage, an executive producer on the series, was preparing to direct his ninth episode of ABC's The Wonder Years reboot in February when six women on the crew filed a complaint with Disney about Savage's behavior.

    "To their credit, I was contacted within hours," one of the women told THR. "An investigation started immediately and he was barred from set."

    Although many stories reported at the time of his firing discussed Savage's alleged "anger issues" on set, one woman in her early 30s claims she was sexually assaulted by the former child star.

    The woman in question, speaking anonymously to THR, said, "We became acquaintances and friends. It was very platonic." She said Savage took her to dinner and offered her expensive gifts, which she declined. He met her parents, offered to help with her career, and came to her shows. Eventually, she went through a bad breakup.

    "He was aware of it. I was very vulnerable," she recalled. "You're on set 16 hours a day. I told him everything."

    Then, she was fired suddenly, though she does not believe Savage caused her firing. "I was given no prior warning or cause," she said. "I texted Fred. He was ecstatic. He was, 'This is the beginning of your career. You're going to move to L.A.'"

    In December 2021, after her firing, she joined the crew at a bar near Savage's home in Atlanta.

    "He was buying shots for everyone," she said.

    At one point, she got up to use the restroom, and as she was walking out of the stall, Savage entered.

    "I started laughing, like, 'What are you doing? This is a women's bathroom,'" she said.

    He then approached her with "just like, dead eyes," she continued, and allegedly pushed her against a wall. "I said, 'Please, don't do this.' I meant ruining the friendship. I was pleading, not from fear so much, but this was no going back."

    "He put his mouth on mine very forcefully," she said. "He went for the top of my pants. I brushed him away. Then he put his mouth on mine again, grabbed my hand and pulled it on his groin area. I was pulling back. He stopped very angrily. I shoulder checked him so I could get out."

    After they returned to the outdoor area of the bar, Savage soon left with a younger crewmember, but she said he texted her that night asking her to come to his house right away.

    "To remain neutral I laughed it off like, 'Ha ha, no, have a good night,' because I was honestly scared of him for the first time," she said.

    For a few weeks after that night, Savage continued to text and call, asking to meet, she said.

    "One time he just sent the word, 'Tonight,'" she continued. Then, after a few weeks of silence he left a voicemail that she shared with THR.

    "It's your old friend Fred," he said in the voicemail. "We worked together for a while and then we didn't, and then I was a huge asshole. A huge asshole. And I'm really sorry. And I've kind of owed you an apology for a minute here and so, uh, the truth is I really like you and I really want to be friends and I'm so sorry that I fucked that up."

    Savage has denied any wrongdoing. "Since I was 6 years old, I have worked on hundreds of sets with thousands of people, and have always strived to contribute to an inclusive, safe and supportive work environment," he said in a statement to THR. "It is devastating to learn that there are co-workers who feel I have fallen short of these goals."

    "While there are some incidents being reported that absolutely did not and could not have happened, any one person who feels hurt or offended by my actions is one person too many. I will work to address and change any behavior that has negatively affected anyone, as nothing in this world is more important to me than being a supportive co-worker, friend, husband, father and person."

    Other women who came forward to report Savage told THR they saw two very different sides of the former child actor. On the one hand, he could be charismatic and supportive, while on the other, they noted a darker, angrier persona.

    "His eyes would go dead," one of the women said, adding that he never behaved negatively around actors or executives, only "below-the-line employees who don't have power."

    Some of the crewmembers who came forward said they initiated their complaints because of verbal harassment, as well as the alleged assault of their former crewmember.

    The crewmembers who came forward were also concerned about Savage's behavior towards another younger crewmember. The women say that at one point, the young woman moved into the house Savage occupied in Atlanta, where The Wonder Years was filming, and an associate said he bought her gifts and discussed work they would do together in the future.

    Although the young woman declined to speak to THR, other sources said she was afraid of him when he was angry, and one source said he was "extremely controlling of her daily behaviors," adding, "He was manipulative and erratic."

    Another crewmember said she tried to protect the younger woman from Savage, but added, "He proceeded to verbally harass me and belittle me."

    Savage has faced allegations of harassment in the past. In 1993, a costumer on the original Wonder Years sued Savage for sexual harassment when he was 16, and the lawsuit was settled out of court. Years later, in 2018, Youngjoo Hwang sued Savage for harassment, assault, battery and discrimination on the 2015-2016 Fox comedy The Grinder. That lawsuit was also settled outside of court.

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Fred Savage, The Wonder Years (2021 Series), Sexual Misconduct