SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah woman who filed a lawsuit Monday accusing actor Tom Sizemore of groping her at a photo shoot when she was 11 said she is standing up for other child actors.
Kiersten Pyke, 26, spoke for the first time Monday at her attorney’s office in Salt Lake City about six months after her allegations against Sizemore surfaced. Pyke said her dreams of having an acting career evaporated after the 2003 incident during production of the “Born Killers” movie, leaving her with post-traumatic stress and drug and alcohol addiction that have plagued her life.
She and her attorney Robert Sykes said they don’t think Sizemore will be able to pay the $3 million in damages they are seeking because his career has sputtered, but the lawsuit is about sending a message.
“It’s not OK to touch children, plain and simple,” Pyke said. “Whatever comes from it it’s not for me at this point… . There are children out there who may watch this and, like I did, will say something to their mommies or their daddies.”
As she spoke with her therapy dog — a grey pit bull named Diesel — beside her, she added: “You can’t put a price on a childhood that I lost.”
The Associated Press doesn’t usually name alleged victims of sexual assault but Pyke has decided to go public with her story.
Sizemore denied the “highly disturbing” allegation when it surfaced last year, saying he would never inappropriately touch a child.
Sizemore spokeswoman Michelle Salem did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment.
Salt Lake City police investigated in 2003, but prosecutors didn’t file charges, citing witness and evidence problems.
Sizemore’s career has included prominent roles in “Saving Private Ryan” and “Black Hawk Down,” but he’s been dogged by drug abuse and domestic violence arrests.
Pyke said she remembers being so excited to do her first Hollywood movie and work with a star like Sizemore. She had acted on several other films which she described as “B” movies.
Sizemore played her father in the movie and the alleged incident took place during a Christmas morning scene, Pyke said. She said he was briefly suspended from the movie after her parents reported the abuse to movie officials, but he was allowed to return. She was let go, she said.
Pyke said she often thought about the incident but didn’t seriously consider a lawsuit until the Hollywood Reporter ran a story in November about the alleged incident based on accounts from the movie’s casting director and other actors who were there.
Pyke said her parents told her that police told her back then that there was nothing more they could do after prosecutors passed on charges. She said her parents felt “railroaded” by Sizemore’s powerful attorneys who she says told them they would never win.
“I’m here to tell them 15 years later that we will win,” Pyke said.
Associated Press writer Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to this report.