Hostile Advances: The Kerry Ellison Story (1996) - full transcript

Kerry Ellison has a good job at an office and she is happy. All goes well, until Jack Gilcrest starts having an interest in her. He starts following her, writing her sexually tense notes. Kerry makes it clear multiple times that she is not interested in him. Jack continues approaching her nonetheless. The problem seems solved when Jack get transfered to another department. But he manages to return and threatens Kerry so much, she is getting anxiety attacks. There's no one who can help her, even a complaint at the labor union falls on deaf ears. Ellison's only option is to go to court and charge her office, a decision that will surely cost her job.

After a brief
discussion of work,

he would turn
the conversation

to a discussion
of sexual matters.

His conversations
were very vivid.

He spoke about acts
that he had seen
in pornographic films

involving such matters
as women having
sex with animals

and films showing
group sex or
rape scenes.

He talked about
pornographic materials...

Can you believe her?
...depicting individuals

with large penises
or large breasts...

Guess she's getting
her 15 minutes of fame.

Excuse me, can you turn
the TV up, please?

For one person?
For two people.

Are you going to
order something?

Uh, Cabernet.

On several occasions,

Thomas told me graphically
of his own sexual prowess.

You think Hill's
telling the truth?

Sure. Why else would she
be going through this?

I think most people
don't believe her.

After all, it's just
her word against his.

Next to impossible
to prove.

Yeah, I know.

Jean Early.

Kerry. Kerry Ellison.
"Kerry Ellison".

Not the same
Kerry Ellison...
Afraid so.

I wrote about your case.
I'm a journalist.

What you went through,
that was really something.

It was something,
all right.

Well, let me ask you,
have you considered doing
a follow-up story?


It's finally behind me.
I'd like to keep it that way.


Off the record.

Mind if I ask you a few
questions, just to satisfy
my own curiosity?

Why'd you do it?

Why'd you keep
on fighting?

Look at Anita Hill.

I bet right now she just
wishes she was back in front
of the classroom, teaching.

In the beginning, how'd
you know how to handle it?

I didn't.

Hey, Kerry.


Getting kind of daring
up there, aren't you?

I got it from you, Sam.

But it's kinda scary to
watch someone else do it.

That's what it's
all about. Isn't that
what you taught me?

Anybody can fly, but...
But not everybody can fly.


I gotta go to work.
I'm gonna be late.
I'll see you later.

Hey, Max.

Hey, sweetie.

All right.

You ready for some
breakfast? Hmm?

Good boy. Good boy.


Hey, Kerry, almost late
for the weekly meeting.
"Almost" doesn't count.

Hey, what are you doing
Friday night?

I have plans, Liz.
Oh, doing what?
Working late?

Did it ever
occur to you that some
women like being single?

Yes, but I don't think you're one of them.

Kerry, you've gotta go out
with this guy, I swear.

I don't know, not with
the last blind date
you set me up on.

Hey, can I help it
if he was bald, short,

Old, married.

Talking about me?

No, Joey, you're just married.

Yeah, don't remind me. Kerry!

Where's the donuts? What?

The donuts. It was
your turn to bring them
to the morning meeting.

Oh, damn, I forgot.

Uh, okay.
I'll go get them.

Um, tell Margaret
I'll be right back.

Hey, can you get me one
of those long twisty things?

"Long twisty thing"?

Chocolate and squishy.

"Chocolate and squishy"?
Ew. I'll make a list.

She'll forget.


Margaret thought you
could use some help.

You scared me.
Sorry. I didn't mean to.

You ready?

You really should lock your
doors, you know that?

I will from now on.

Two of
the rainbow sprinkle
ones, um...

And one of the...
Hey, girly. Hey.

Hey, I'm not
gonna hurt ya.
Go away!

Take it easy. Yeah.
Uh, some of the little
donut balls over there.

What's a fine looking
lady like you doing in
a donut store?

Can you just put them in
the box, please?
Shouldn't eat donuts.

Hey, girly.


Ooh, there's this
guy over there.

What are you doing
in a donut...

He's gone.

Gave me the creeps.

You wanted to see
me, Margaret?
Uh, yeah, come on in.

I thought you might
like to see this.
What is it?

It's your
quarterly evaluation.

I have to tell you, Kerry.
You've been doing some
great work around here.

Thank you, Margaret.

Of course, we'll be
expecting even more
from you now.

That is, if you want a
promotion any time soon.

You know I do.

As a matter of fact,
I kind of had my
eye on this office.

This is great.

work going, Kerry?
Couldn't be better.

One more training seminar
to complete and I will be
eligible for promotion.

Have you seen Sam lately?

Just this morning, Mom.

Oh, how's that going?

We broke up
over a year ago.

Told you a million times,
we're just friends.

Well, I still don't
understand it.

It just wasn't working.

I have goals and Sam is
happy right where he is.

Give him some engine
parts spread across
the kitchen table

and he's like a little boy
with a new toy. Believe me.
We're much better as friends.

Friendship is the basis
of any good marriage.


You're not married yet?

I knew I forgot something.

I was only hoping.
You can't fault me for that.

Sometimes I think you'll
never get married.

Forbidden Enchantment.

Come on, boy. Come on, Max.

Jump on up, come on.

Ah, that's a sweet boy.

Good boy. Good boy. Come on.

Good boy, Max.

Ready for lunch?


We have to wait
on Liz and Joey.

I haven't seen them around
since this morning.

Looks like it's
just me and you.

Why don't we all get
together next week, okay?
I got a lot of work to do.

What, you won't have
lunch with me without
a group around?


Oh, I get it.

You're afraid to
be alone with me.

Of course not.

Okay, then. I'll treat.

Don't you find it odd
that two people

who've never really
been alone before

are striking off
such intense sparks?


I, for one, am very
curious about it.

Kerry, you here?



I've been stood
up by a woman.

Where are we going?

I gotta stop at
my house first.

My son forgot his lunch

and I have to drop
it off to him.

My wife's car is in the
shop or she'd do it.

Well, as long as we're not
late getting back, I guess.

Hey, you ever see a
real hand grenade?

Look in the glove box.

Just be careful not
to pull the pin.

No, thanks.

What, you don't
believe me?

No, I believe you,
all right.

Aren't you coming in?

I'll just wait right here.

You were talking about
wanting to look at real estate
in this area, weren't you?

Now would be a perfect time.

See what you can
get for your money.

All right.

Gotta make it quick, though.
We have to get back.

Come on in.
Have a look around.

See what you think.


It's big.

Yeah, well, that's what
all women want, right?


Big kitchen.

Come on, I'll show
you the rest.

We really don't
have time, Jack.

Sure we do.

And this is the bedroom.

What do you think?

I think you should get the
lunch and we should go.

So what did you do?

He took back me to the office.

I feel so stupid, Sam.
I just didn't think he'd
be so obvious about it.

So you made one mistake.

Now you know.

I have to go back to
the office and face him.

I just don't know
what to do.

Don't be alone with him.

If he asks you out again,
tell him no.

You don't have to be polite.
Polite to this guy is as good
as saying, "Let's do it."

God, you sound
like my father.

No, I sound like
your husband.

But you're not.
So don't even start.

You want me to take
care of this guy?

Like I really wanna be
bailing you outta jail.

Okay, then, promise me that
you'll stay away from him,
and tell him no next time.



Joe, do you know
what happened
to March's files?

Kerry, could you
check this out for me?
Oh. Yeah, Margaret.


So, Kerry Ellison.

Hey, did you ever
notice something funny
about your name?

Kerry Ellison.

Sounds like that
Catholic thing they are
always singing in church.

Kerry A. Ellison.

So what about lunch today?

No, thanks. I brought my own.

We could try that new
place around the corner.

I said no, Jack.


A drink after work, maybe?


Kerry, I need to
talk to you, please.

Hello, IRS.

Oh, um...

No, he's not here right now.
Can I take a message?

Sure, I could do that.

Great. Okay.

Who gave me this?

Liz, will you go to
lunch with me?
Sure. Just give me...

No, go to lunch with
me, right now, please.

What's going on?

I don't know if I'm
overreacting or what,

but it seemed like this
whole elaborate scheme
to lure me into bed.

You know, I'm not sure,
but I think that's
against agency policy.

Liz, I'd laugh, but it's
getting much too weird.

He wrote me a note.

"I cried over
you last night,

"and I'm totally
drained today.

"I've never been in such
constant turmoil.

"Thank you for talking to me.
I could not stand to feel your
hatred for another day."

"Cried"? He actually cried?

That's what he wrote.

Well, that's unbelievable.

"Please talk to me."

Have you told Margaret?


I'm in management's
good graces. I don't want...

Liz, is there something
wrong with me?

I mean, am I
doing something to
encourage him?

You're too nice.

"Too nice"?

And lots of guys will
take advantage of that.

I barely speak to
the guy and I'm
supposed to be rude?

I don't even want to
talk to him at all.

Maybe Joey will talk
to him for you.


You think so?
It's worth a try.

You gotta do something
before this thing
gets out of hand.

And in the meantime,

I've got just the guy to
take your mind off this.

What's wrong with him?

He's perfect.

Then why isn't
he already taken?

He's saving himself for you.

You don't have to do a
thing. Just show up at
my house, Friday night.

Okay, you win.

I'll be there.

Just be prepared
for all your dreams
to come true.

If he's as attractive
as you say he is...
Oh, he is.

Kerry, when
you get a sec...
Oh, okay.

Hello, IRS.

Uh, Liz.

Who's this?

It's Jack.

Where are you?

Kerry. She's upset, right?

Yeah, she's upset.

You went too far
with the note, Jack.

I mean, I'd be upset if you...

Who was that?

How's that?

More garlic.

I hate garlic.

Mmm. Perfect.
Well, that's what
I like to hear.

Hmm. Tim's right.
Needs garlic.

Kerry, can you help me
with this problem?

Uh, what do I look like,
an accountant?

I'll check it
for you later, though.


Looks like
Kerry's date is here.
Just go let him in, huh?

You ready?

She's been ready
a long time.

Come on, you guys.
Stop it, or you're gonna
embarrass the poor man.

Looks like you're the one
who's embarrassed.

- Oh.
- Nice flowers.

Hi, Betsy.

Come on in.
Hey, Alex.
How're you doing?

Hi, Alex.
You know the family.

Alex, I'd like you
to meet Kerry.

Kerry, good to meet you.

I'll just put those
in a vase. Thanks.

Thanks, Alex.


So, well, why don't we
go in and have dinner?

Oh, yeah. Come on, everyone.
Let's go to the table.

Pretty, hot.
See you there.

I'll take your coat.


Don't even say it.
I have to.

"I told you so."
I told you so.

Okay, everybody.
Over here. Thank you.

I guess you've heard
on the news lately about
all the bomb mailings.

I happen to know
a lot about bombs,

so I took the liberty
of typing this up.

How to recognize
a letter bomb.

We do work for the IRS,
you know.

John Q. Citizen
doesn't exactly love us.

So, it's not inconceivable
that we, you or I

could be the recipient
of a letter bomb.

Letter bombs can be disguised
in any number of ways,

and they are getting
smaller and smaller.

So, I suggest you study this
carefully and please,

please exercise due caution
when you're opening your mail.

Jack, don't you
have work to do?

And, Margaret,
here's one for you.

Hey, Kerry. How're you doing?

Okay, I guess.

Well, now. From what
I hear around here,

sounds like you're gonna be
my new boss someday soon.

Thanks. I appreciate that.

Are you sure you're okay?
No, I'm not sure.

Can I ask you something?
The answer's no.

Sorry, but I'm
already married.

All the good ones are.

So, what's the question?

Can you talk
to Jack for me?

He keeps asking me out,

and "no" doesn't seem
to be part of his vocabulary.

Can you just kind of
drop the "bomb" that
I'm not interested?

Yeah. I'll take care of it.

It's all in the planning.

The greatest generals
could tell you how
important strategy is.

You have to study your target
before attacking.

Ask Patton about strategy.

You know how I landed
this job with the IRS?

Strategy. Right.

See, I knew I wanted
to work for the IRS.

Step number one,

find out where
its weakness is.

Answer? Vermont.

Step number two,

move to Vermont and apply.

Research showed
they hire anybody.


And my wife
and kid stay here.

As soon as they
hire me in Vermont,
I file to come back here.

You know, being away
from my family and all.

They transferred me back.

Strategy, see?

Same thing with women.
Some women aren't
available, Jack.

All women
are available, Joey.
All of them.

Kerry, for instance.
She's not available.

Kerry. My Kerry?

The Kerry
we work with, yeah.

Look, Jack. I just thought
I should tell you,

she's not interested in
going out with you.
That's all.

What do you mean,
"not interested"?

How do you know
what she wants?

Easy, Jack.
She showed me your note

and asked me to have
a talk with you.

Oh, yeah?
What's in it for you?


Jack, calm down, man.
It's not the end of the world.

Kerry likes me.

Ask her about
going to my house
if you don't believe me.

You know, Joey.
I got you pegged.

Thanks for the
drink, buddy.

Kerry? It's Joey.

Thank God.

I was waiting
for you to call.

Did you get a chance
to talk to Jack?

Oh, yeah.
I talked to him, all right.

What's the matter?
You sound funny.

Yeah, well,
I don't feel so funny.

Why? What did he say?

I don't know, Kerry.
It didn't go so well.

He thinks you like him.

What? Where did he
get that idea?

Well, I don't know.
And I don't wanna know either.

Maybe I should talk to him.

I'd stay away from him
if I were you.

Joey, uh, thank you
for doing this.

Yeah, sure.

And Kerry, I mean it.

You stay away from him.

Talk to you tomorrow.

I was starting to get worried.

Not really worried
about what he'd done,
at that point.

He hadn't really
done that much.

But it really disturbed me.

He just didn't seem
to understand that
"no" meant "no."

I did tell him no, Sam.

So say it again.

Say it 100 times
if you have to.

Why do I have to
say it over and over?

Once should be enough.

Not always.

I asked you out three times
before you said yes.

Yeah, but when I said no,
you didn't stay up all night

crying and write me about it.

Only because
I didn't think of it.

Come on. This
isn't funny, Sam.
The guy scares me.

It was only a note.

So, what?
I shouldn't be scared

until he rapes me
or something?

Just look at it his way.

The guy likes you.
He's trying, that's all.

No, why don't you look at it
from my point of view?

He's a married man.

Whose side are you
on, anyway?

I'm not on any side.
Are you sure?

Are you sure that
you're not overreacting?

You know,

I should introduce you
to Jack sometime.

You two would probably
be great friends.

Morning, everybody.
Morning, Margaret.

I put them
right on my kitchen table.

But they're really great.

Um, no.

Alex, I had a
great time. Thanks.

Is this a bad time
to talk? Kerry?

I have to go.
Do you have plans Saturday?


Um, no, I don't
have any plans.

Dinner at Smitty's Grill?


I'll meet you there.
That sounds great.

Okay. Bye.

Morning, Kerry.

Your dad was in 'Nam,
wasn't he?

What unit?
I don't know, Jack.
I'm busy.

I barely made it back alive.

I had five buddies
left in my unit.

Bullets whizzing
all around us.

I dropped to my knees
and prayed, "Dear God,

"just let me
get out of this alive.

"All I want is a good job,
a wife and a kid."

And, bam! This bomb goes off.

When I came to,
everybody was dead...

Except me.

And I got what I wanted.

Good job, wife, a kid.

Now I wish I'd
asked for more.


Do you think it would be
possible for me to go to

the training seminar
in St. Louis?

"Good morning," to you, too.

I'm sorry. Um...

The seminar starts on Monday
and lasts for two weeks.

I know it's short notice...

Can you tell me
why the urgency?

I just want to get out
of town for a while.

Is it personal?

You could say that.

It has to do with
somebody in the office.

Who is it?

It's Jack.

You think I can leave today?

Oh! Okay, girls,
we got just enough time
to change for dinner

and a night
on the town.

And as long as the IRS
is footing the bill,

I want one of those
fancy drinks with the
little umbrellas in them.

Five minutes. Meet
you in the lounge.

Are you crazy?


Alex? It's Kerry.

Where the hell are you?

- Alex, I'm sorry.
- I know we had a date,

but, uh, something
urgent came up.

I called Liz.
She doesn't even know
where you are.

I know. I know.

I had to leave town
kind of quick.

I didn't get a
chance to call you.

Listen, I can save
you the trouble.

If you don't want to
see me, just say so.

No, no, no, no, no.
It's not that.

I do wanna see you.
I just...


Alex, I'm sorry.

I have to go.
I'll call you back.


"I have enjoyed
you so much,

"watching you from
oh-so far away.

"Admiring your style..."
"I'm an intense person.

"I tend to express
myself forcefully..."
"You make me happy."

"And all I have been
able to do is

"lay increasingly heavy
trips upon you."

"Even if you do not
recognize your own
exceptional qualities,

"please realize
that others will.

"I don't believe that you
recognize in yourself

"the qualities which
attract me so.

"If you would like
to talk to someone

"and try to sort
things out in your
own head, I can help.

"The greatest challenge
a woman can face

"is the selection
of the proper man."

Margaret Walker.

I got
a letter from Jack.


Did you tell him
where I am?

No, of course
I didn't.

He found out somehow.
Listen to this.

"I don't believe that you
recognize in yourself

"the qualities which
attract me so.

"Without self-knowledge,
the selection process

"comes to resemble
Russian roulette

"with the revolver loaded
with men pointed
at the woman's head."

Margaret, there is
three pages of this stuff.

What does he want?

"But some married
men may be able

"to provide more than
sex and/or a shoulder."


you gotta do something.
He isn't going to stop.

He says,
"This letter really
is not finished,

"I see many things which
need to be covered

"and I will try
in the near future."

Fax me a copy
of the letter.

And Kerry,
don't worry.

I'll take care of it.

Just make him stop.

I'm just telling you, Phil,
so you'll know.


You are my supervisor.

Have you
talked to him?

No, I haven't heard
his side yet.

Well, get
on top of that.

Uh, I will.
I know you'll
handle it.

I will.
I'll be interested
in his explanation.

Gotta go, Phil.

Is he there?

I'll stay on
top of it.
Call me.

Yeah, okay. Bye.

That about me?

What makes you
think that?

Wild guess.

What do you
know about this?

I wrote it.

For what intention?

Is there some problem
I should know about?

Look, Jack...

You're a good worker
and we don't wanna
lose you.


You're making
it difficult.

Well, I've already
rectified the situation.

How, may I ask?

I wrote her
a letter.

Explaining it all.
My point of view
on the subject.

I brought you a copy.

She already faxed
it to me.

"If you want to understand
why men are attracted to you,

"I can explain
very clearly.

"If you want me to
forget you entirely,

"I cannot do that."

For obvious reasons,

Kerry is very upset
about this.

Should I write her
another letter?

No! That's exactly
what you should not do.

From now on,

I want you to
keep distance

between yourself
and Miss Ellison.

I do not want you near her.


But her desk is
right beside mine.

Can you think of a
possible solution

to this little problem,
Mr. Gilcrest?

One that would give you
the proper distance
from Miss Ellison

and allow you to continue
working for this agency?

I would like to
request a transfer

to the regional
Mrs. Walker.

How very considerate of you
to offer, Mr. Gilcrest.

That will be effective
starting tomorrow.

Oh, and Margaret,

might I add how very
beautiful you look today?

Johnson, here.
Yeah, Phil. It's me again.

Problem solved.

Welcome back,

How was St. Louis?

"Gateway to the Midwest."
That about says it all.

Kerry, glad
you're back!

Hey, you missed a great
going-away party.


Jack transferred to
regional headquarters.

We felt a big party
was in order.

Well, I'm sorry
I missed it.

No, you're not.

Thank you,
No problem.

I did it as much
for me as for you.

- What a relief!
- Well,

back to work.


Hello, IRS.

Hey, Kerry.
It's me, Sam.


I've been thinking
about the other day.


Last thing I wanted
to do is fight.

You were just
being honest.

I thought you were
different, you know,

but maybe I was
the one who was wrong.

So we can't even be
friends now. Is that
what you're saying?

I don't know.

I have a lot of work
I have to catch up on.



Yeah, I can be there
in 15 minutes. Right.


You are aware there is
an office meeting in
five minutes?

I have an appointment.

The meeting
is mandatory.

Well, this is the only
time I could schedule
the appointment.

I am your supervisor,

I will tell you
when you can leave,
and where you can go.

And right now, the
only place you can go
is the office meeting.

End of discussion.
Listen, Mr. Davies,

I transferred here
under the assumption
that it was temporary.

I've been here
a while now

and it's been quite obvious
to me from the beginning

that you
don't like me.

Maybe it would be
better for both of us

if I were to transfer
back to my old office.

Oh, I wish it were
that simple.

You're right.
I didn't want you here,

but unfortunately,
I was overruled.

Last thing I want
to do is babysit.

What do you
mean by that?

I'm aware of the
trouble you caused
in the branch office.

Why do you think
you're here?

There was no trouble.

What do you call
sexual harassment?

I want to be transferred
back to my old office.

Impossible, Gilcrest.
You're all mine now.

Then I'll be filing
a grievance with the union.

We'll see what they have
to say about the way
you treat your staff.

I'm sorry to have to
tell you this, Kerry.

But you should know
Jack is coming back
to this office.

Back here?

But he just

He's filed a grievance
with the manager there.

My hands are tied, Kerry.

He wants to
come back here

and the union says
we have to take him.

So, in other words,
if I want to keep
this guy away from me,

I'm the one who
has to transfer?

Can't you put him
in a different department?

Or move his desk
across the room?

I already thought of that.

It would be a violation
of his rights.

And I don't have rights?
Why are you protecting him?

I did everything
I could, Kerry.

Now, maybe this
temporary separation

is the cooling-off
period he needed.

Sure, you could say that.
You're not the one
he's obsessed with.

There is one
possible solution.

Jack has offered
to go into joint
counseling with you.

Maybe the two of you
could talk this out.

"Joint counseling"?
I don't even know the man.

He's harassing me again.
Only this time he's
harassing me through you!

it's great to be back.

You know, I really
missed this place.

I can't believe
this is happening.

Yeah, I know,
it's crazy.

But Kerry, I mean,
what can you do?

Maybe, you should just,
um, steer clear of him

and make the best
of it, okay?

Why should I have to?

I gotta go,
I'm gonna be late.


Is that when you decided
to file the complaint?

Well, it's not like I knew
about that kind of stuff.

But I was getting
pretty desperate.

Jack coming back to the office
really infuriated me.

It seemed like nobody cared
about my point of view.

They were only concerned
with Jack's feelings.

So, I decided
to talk to my dad.

He'd been a manager
at the post office

and I knew he'd
be on my side.

Why didn't you
tell me about this before?

I didn't want to
worry you or Mom.

I wanted to handle it
on my own.

There is no "handling"
a guy like this.

I've seen it
happen before.

This is serious.

I mean, you told
me yourself

that this guy's got
a hand grenade in his car.

He's got a working knowledge
of letter bombs.

He tracked you down
halfway across the country.

What next?

See? This is exactly why
I didn't wanna say anything.

You're just gonna worry
and now Mom's gonna worry.

You're my daughter.

It's my privilege to worry
about my daughter.

I know.

So, what should I do?

Well, I think the first thing
you should do

is make a formal complaint
with the EEOC.

The what?

The Equal Employment
Opportunities Commission.

And they'll notify
someone from the IRS

and they'll check into it.

Are you kidding me?
The IRS?

I already complained to them.
He's back at the
office already.

Well, if you
got a case and

we do
have a case,

they'll send a delegate
from Washington

who'll get to the
bottom of it.

And in the meantime,
you're gonna move back in
with your mom and me.

No, I'm not.

I am not going to be
able to sleep

knowing that
you're up there alone.

Then neither of us
are gonna sleep, Dad.

You're right around
the corner from me.

You can come
running over.

Now look,
the first little thing
that happens,

and I don't care
what it is,

you're moving back home
with Mom and me.

And I'll carry you kicking
and screaming if I have to,
all the way.


And I'll file a complaint
with the EEOC.


You know...

Dad, I know.

I think it's
your shot, kid.

Oh, God, Alex.
I'm so sorry.

I can't believe this.

I've just been so busy.
I forgot.

I can see that.

Listen, why don't you
come on inside and
I can throw something on?

No, I, uh...

I don't think so.

I'm really sorry.

I'll, uh, let you get back
to whatever you were doing.

Maybe we could try this again.
Next week or something?

Yeah, sure. I'll...
I'll call you.

Oh, these were for you.

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon.

Pam Forest, the IRS'
EEOC representative,

Mr. Jack Gilcrest

in the case of
Miss Kerry Ellison's

You are Mr. Jack Gilcrest,
agent for the IRS?

Please answer yes or no,
Mr. Gilcrest.

Thank you.

Let's get the facts
straight for the record.

You wrote Miss Ellison a note
on October 22nd and it...

And again, you
wrote her a letter

while she was at a
training seminar
in St. Louis?

That's correct.

What we're interested in,
Mr. Gilcrest, is why?

Why did you feel
compelled to...

You've obviously been told
her side of the story.

I'm assuming you're
interested in mine.

That's what I'm here for,
Mr. Gilcrest.

Jack, please.

Jack, let's hear
your side.

Number one, there were
the tipping incidents.


That's what I said.

She, on numerous
occasions, would

hike her skirt up
to mid-thigh level

while facing me
in her chair.

She exposed herself.

And when I say
"exposed herself,"

I mean
her entire self

by tipping back in her chair
with her skirt up.

How many times did
Miss Ellison do this?

Too many to count.

Then there were the
"stepping-in" incidents.

This is where she
would step into
my close personal space

to achieve body contact.

Rubbing against me.

I remember,
once in a donut shop,

she rubbed her breasts
against my arm.

And what did you infer
from these incidents?

I inferred nothing.

That's why I wrote to her.

She was sending me
mixed signals and I wanted
to straighten it all out.

Your letter had
a return address
of Topeka, Kansas.

That's where
a friend of mine lives.

She could've written me back
at that address and
I would've gotten the letter.

Why not put your home address
on the letter?


My wife didn't know
about my friendship
with Kerry.

If she wrote me at home,
my wife might think that...

I'm a married man.

When did you
become aware

that your writing to
Miss Ellison was
making her upset?

And afraid.

What'd she think it was,
a letter bomb?

That's a good one.

Hey, Joey.

Hey, Jack.
Hey, hey.

It's your turn for the
deposition tomorrow, right?

Yeah, I guess so.

Watch out for her, buddy.

She'll ask you
a lot of trick questions,

try to get you
to say something
incriminating against me.

You know, Joey...

If you weren't
my friend,

I might be
a little worried.

But I don't have
anything to worry about,
do I, Joey?


Just to make sure,

I'll exercise my legal
right to be present
at your deposition.

You're gonna be
in there, too?

Hey. Friends always
stick together, Joey.

Remember that.



Who is this?

Sally, can I ask you
a personal question?

What do I look like?
Dear Abby?

I'm being
serious here, Sally.

Okay, what?

We've worked
together a long time, right?

Is that the question?

I just want to know.

Do you think... Do you think
I'm just like everybody else?

Does this have something
to do with you and Kerry?

Yeah, sort of.

You think I'm just like
all the other guys?

No, no, I mean...

I've never done
anything to you, right?

Never said or done anything
that you consider offensive?

Well, not exactly.

"Not exactly"?

That's what I said.

Then I have done

What have I done?

I mean, if you could change
something about me,
what would it be?

Do you really
want to know?


Any time.

Hey, Kerry.
Where you been?

I've been busy.

I'm trying to
apologize, Kerry.

I was wrong.
I admit it.
And I'm sorry.

I needed a friend, Sam,
and you weren't there.

I know.

But I'm here now.
You wanna talk about it?

I can be a damn good listener
when I want to be.

I'm sorry,
what was the question?

When did you first become
acquainted with Mr. Gilcrest?

Oh, I don't know.

Jack, how long have
we known each other?

You are to answer
the questions,
Mr. Westlake, not him.


I've worked with Jack
about two years or so.

Have you ever held
a personal conversation
with Mr. Gilcrest?

Discussing anything
not work-related?

Sure, I guess so.

Talked about guns,

army planes...
You know, military stuff.

What exactly did he tell you
about this "military stuff"?

I'm afraid to answer
some of these questions.

Why is that?

Well, you know, you might
think I'm packing a gun
or something.

Would you feel
more comfortable

if Mr. Gilcrest were
not in the room?

I have a right
to be here.

Oh, he can stay.

Just telling
the truth.

Nothing that I wouldn't
say to his face.

Were you aware of any
romantic interest he may
have had in Miss Ellison?

He liked her some, I guess.

Mr. Gilcrest gave
Miss Ellison a note.

Were you aware
of that note?

Yeah, Kerry showed
it to me.

I think she might have,

you know, overreacted...

...slightly, at first,

but then...

But then?

Kerry was frightened.

Can't say that
I blame her.

Management didn't
seem to be able to
help things out any.

Thank you,
Mr. Westlake.

Phil, there's something
about him.

What does that mean?

I can't quite
explain it.

Come on, Pam.
You're never at a loss
for words.

Give it a try.

I hate to say this,

but I sure wouldn't want to be
the one to file the complaint.

Scariest part is,

not only
do I get a copy
of his deposition,

but he gets a copy
of mine, too.

Everything I'm thinking
and feeling written down
in black and white.

Like he has a legal right
to get into my head.

What can I do?

Be my friend.

That's a given.

I can't believe
what that bastard said.

He's making me out to be
some kind of whore,

like I asked
for the whole thing.

They don't believe him,
do they?

I don't know.

Kerry, is that it?
The EEOC's answer?

"Under the authority
vested in me

"by the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission,

"I am rejecting the complaint
of Miss Kerry Ellison."

I'm sorry, Kerry.

I know how
you must feel.

Well, then,
you're the only one who does.

Hey, listen.
Why don't you come over
for dinner tonight?

I'll tell Gary to take
the kids out for pizza
or something

and it'll be
just us girls.

I don't really
feel like it, Liz.

Well, do it for me, okay?

I could use a night
where I don't have to be
somebody's mother or wife.

Okay. As long as we don't
have to talk about Jack.

Speaking of which,
here he comes.

I can't handle this, Liz.
Anybody asks, tell them
I have an appointment.

Have you thought it all out?
The consequences?

Of course I have.

I think you ought to
drop the whole thing.

He's backed you
into a corner.

Even the EEOC
refuses to help.

I can't just
drop it, Liz.

Then be careful.

Or you're going to
end up with nothing.
Is that what you want?

And what do
I have now?

I can't let him win.

He's already won, Kerry.

Look at what he's done
to your life so far.

I thought we weren't
going to talk about Jack.


Come on, Max,
let's go to bed.




Kerry, are you okay?


You do look like hell.


I knew I could count on you
to make me feel better.

What happened?
What'd he do this time?

I had a nightmare.

It was so real.

I couldn't breathe.
He was choking me.

You're safe now.

I'm not
going to work today.

I can't. I can't
do anything anymore.
I can't concentrate.

You need a lawyer.

Get a lawyer.
Sue this guy.

Take him to court
and make him pay.

It's the only way
that he's gonna stop.

I can't, Sam.

I can't. I don't have
what it takes.

I can't even face him at work,
let alone a courtroom.

You're the strongest woman
I've ever met.

You can do it.

You just have to find
your strength again.

I need your help.

I've decided to
hire a lawyer.

File a sexual harassment suit

and fight this thing
out in court.

How can I help
you with that?

I thought maybe you'd
know a good lawyer.

Someone who's handled
this type of thing before.

You're gonna be filing a suit
against the agency I work for.

If I were to give you
the name of a lawyer,

it would be
a conflict of interest.

I could lose my job.

Here's the name
of a friend.

He might be able to refer you
to someone you can talk to.

I understand.

Mr. Brunner's office. Yeah.

He is, but he's in
conference at the moment.

Can I take a message?

Yes, I will.

Yes. Are you Miss Ellison?
Go ahead, knock.

Yes, I'll,
I'll tell him.

Door's open.

Well, I don't wanna
be redundant, but just as long
as the numbers match, right?

Yeah. Oh,
sit down, sit down.

No, not you.

No, I got...
Yeah, I got it here
in front of me.

It's okay.

All right, well, why don't you
just get Jeffrey to do it?

He's good at
that kind of stuff.

Yeah, it's his gig.
Okay, get back to me.


you're the little girl
with the big problem.

Have you ever handled
a sexual harassment
case before?

Uh, sexual harassment
isn't necessarily a case
of black or white,

Miss Ellison.

Most often, it's the gray area
that exists somewhere
between the two.

You didn't answer
my question.

Uh, yes, I've handled
these cases

and judging the way you
talked to me on the phone,

since there was no
physical provocation...
Oh, but there is!

He won't leave me alone.
He's always there,
following me.

But he didn't
rape you, did he?

He didn't promise you
a job promotion

if you would meet him
in some hotel room?

He didn't even grab you.
He didn't touch you.

He didn't have to!

That's the gray area
that I just mentioned.

Now, the tactic
I would take

would be to prove
that, uh,

because of your, uh...

Your co-worker, Mr...

Mr. Gilcrest.

Because of Mr. Gilcrest,
you found yourself...

In a hostile environment.

You're way ahead of me.
You've done your research,
haven't you?

So, what kind of
case do I have?

What kind of proof
do you have?

Hard proof.

Written proof.

As your lawyer,

I have to explain

the implications you'll
be getting yourself into.

If you decide to file a
federal lawsuit against
Mr. Gilcrest,

you'll actually be filing
against the IRS.

The United States

And they'll spare no money
to defend themselves.

They'll make sure that

Mr. Gilcrest has the best
lawyers money can buy.

He'll not spend a dime
and you'll have to pay me
out of your own pocket.

But that's not fair!

No, it's not fair,
but it is reality.

Oh, uh, there's also
a really good chance
that you'll be

looking for another job
in the very near future.

That, coupled with the fact
that you'll have to undergo
psychiatric evaluation

and your entire life
will be under scrutiny,

is why most women
don't even bother to file.

So, most women don't
file a lawsuit because
they're scared?


And most women just
sit back and take it then?

Uh, yes.

Then I'll be
the exception.

I had to file the lawsuit.
Do you have a better solution?

Get away from the man.
Get another job.

I can't just get
another career.

Well, you can't just
drag this out in the open
for everyone to see.

To read about
in the papers?

So what do you suggest,
Mother? That I sleep
with the man?

Good lord!

If you go to court
and sue your employer,

who's going to
hire you next?


What do you expect
her to do?

Just to run away
and hide somewhere?

I mean, this sort of thing is
happening to women every day
in the workplace everywhere.

I think it's time somebody
stands up and fights.

And that somebody has
to be my daughter.

Why shouldn't
it be me?

I couldn't live with myself
if I just quit.

You know, I may be
a lot of things, Mother,
but I'm not a coward.

I can see there's no good
talking to you two.

Have you
got a good lawyer?

He's expensive enough.
He better be good.

How expensive?

If we make it
all the way to court,

I may have to
sell my house.

Well, if worse
comes to worst,

you can always
move back in with us.

And in the meantime...

That might help.

I suppose you
gave her money.

Yes, I did.

Life isn't as simple
as one of your books, Lily.

She's my daughter.

I don't want to
see her get hurt.

Do you really think
she can win this lawsuit?

I don't know.

But at least
she's fighting.

Do you know why
you're here, Kerry?

My attorney told me
I had to be.
Some sort of evaluation.

It's important that you
realize that you're not
my patient.

The purpose of this
psychiatric evaluation

is for testimony in
the federal court.

the confidentiality rule
does not apply.

Obviously, because
we're recording this.

You do understand that?

Does that mean that Jack can
get a copy of this session?

You're uncomfortable
with Mr. Gilcrest?

Yes. You could say that.

And when did you begin
working for the IRS?

Have you examined him?

That's outside the nature
of this interview,
Miss Ellison.

I was in the same training
group as Mr. Gilcrest.

Is that what
you're asking?

Yes. Thank you.

At the time of
your first meeting...

Can I ask you
a question?

Why do I have to go
through this evaluation?

As the victim, why am I
being scrutinized?

Shouldn't he be the one
sitting in this chair?

I'll ask the questions,
if you don't mind.

What was the question?

You're feeling persecuted.

I am persecuted.

I'm here to
help you, Kerry.

"Help" me?

Can you help me
sleep at night?

Can you help me get this
crazy man out of my life?

Can you help me get back
all the money I've spent
on this lawsuit?

Do you have any idea
how humiliating this is?

Being cross-examined by
some shrink like I'm the one
who did something wrong.

Exactly who are
you helping, Doctor?
Me or him?

Adjustment disorder mixed
with emotional features.

Probable diagnosis,

pre-menstrual syndrome.

No, Mr. Hastings.

I will not settle
out of court
for that amount.

It's only half of what
I've already spent.

It's our final offer.

Take it or leave it.

I leave it.


We'll see you in court.

If the summary judgment motion
lets it get that far.

Which I sincerely doubt.

Kerry, you need a ride
back to work?

And I want a restraining order
issued against him.

Consider it done.

Liz, can I talk to you
for a minute?

Sorry, Kerry,
I'm really busy right now.

I need to talk
to someone, Liz.

Good morning.

Morning, Margaret.


Kerry, I need this job.

I got two kids
to support.

I just got a subpoena.
Everybody in here did.

And now, I have to go testify
in court against the agency
I work for.

What were you thinking?

So now everybody
hates me? Is that it?

I got work to do.

I'm sorry.

Oh, my God.
What does the
restraining order say?

Twenty feet?

I'm not in violation,
am I?

How's that?

Mr. Brunner?

You really think you stand
a chance with this case?

Yes, sir.
I definitely do.

Then you're even crazier
than your client.

I beg your pardon?

I'm throwing
the case out.

You can't do that.

Oh, I can do anything I want,
Miss Ellison.

All I see here is a note
and a letter

and it's all isolated
and trivial.

You are being hypersensitive
and unreasonable.

You don't have the right
to assume that I'm crazy.

Why is everyone looking
at this from Jack's
point of view?

I was the one who was
harassed, not him!

Well, I do have the right,
Miss Ellison.

You see, I'm the judge.

I have every right.

And I say this case
does not belong in court.

Please see yourselves
to the door.

When did you
start smoking?

All through school, they
teach you the legal system
is fair and impartial.

But in reality,
it's as crooked
as any criminal.

We can appeal.
He's just one man.

If we can get to trial,
have this case heard
before a jury...

And what's the use?

That son of a bitch
up there thinks that
I asked for all this.

What makes you think a jury's
gonna feel any different?

You might get
some justice.


I ran out of justice
the same time
I ran out of money.

Hi, Kerry.

What's going on?
Bill got promoted.


But I was next in line.

Oh, Kerry. You're not going
to make a big deal out of
this too, are you?


No, I'm not.

Come on.

What the hell
are you doing?

What does it look like
I'm doing?

You're in no condition
to fly, Kerry.

I've been doing
this for years.
I know how to fly!

I said you're
not flying.
Get out of my way!

Don't do it.
No, let go.

Let go of me.
No! No!

Son of a bitch.
Let go of me.
I can't!

I don't care.
I can't.

No more, Sam.
I can't take it anymore.

I can't.

Everybody at work
hates me.

My mother's mad at me.

And I have
no friends.

Except me.

Except you.


Take a break, Dad.
We've got all weekend
to finish inventory.

That's the worst part
of owning a business.

Well, this and
losing money.

Have you given
any more thought
to filing the appeal?


Well, shouldn't you be
thinking about it?

I'm trying not to
think about it.

Kerry, I don't want to
meddle in your life, but...

Then don't.

But I will anyway.

You know, I was
very proud of you.

The way you stood up
for yourself.

And you're not now?
I didn't say that.

But when you fight
that hard for something,

you don't give up
in the middle of it.

I'll pay you back if that's
what you're worried about.


I'm sorry, Dad.
I didn't mean it.

It's him.

I'll take care
of this.

Hi, I'm, uh,
Jack Gilcrest.

I work with Kerry
at the IRS.

Mr. Brunner's office.


Let's do it.


File the appeal.

He's got to be stopped.

Thank you, Mr. Brunner.

Now, we'll hear from
Mr. Hastings.

Your Honor,

the defendant contends
that the facts are not
in dispute.

And we also contend
that the IRS acted promptly
to rectify the situation

and that nothing
remains to be done.

Mr. Gilcrest transferred to
the IRS regional headquarters?

Correct. That covers
one ground for the
plaintiff's motion

and further to that,
we find that...

It says here
that, uh,

it was a voluntary transfer
on the part of Mr. Gilcrest.


So the IRS did not take
any disciplinary action
against Mr. Gilcrest?

They did not have to.
He already volunteered.

But didn't he
soon thereafter

transfer back to work
in the same office
with Miss Ellison?

He filed a union grievance
and the IRS had no choice

but to send him back
to the branch office.

"No choice"?

I see.

Well, continue, please.

The most important grounds
for the motion set forth

is that the facts
the plaintiff has presented

do not rise to a level
that would constitute

a sexually hostile
work environment.

According to whom?

Excuse me?

Who says that it is not
a hostile work environment?

The defendant,
of course.

Of course.

The law states,
and I quote,

"A hostile work environment
case can be established

"by alleging conduct
that a reasonable person

"would consider
sufficiently severe."

Your Honor,
as a reasonable person,

you have to admit,
there's nothing severe

about a note
and a letter.

Mr. Gilcrest is

nothing more than
a modern day
Cyrano de Bergerac.

Even you have to agree
with the written law.

Well, thank you
for that information.

We will review the
sexual harassment law

as it pertains to the
victim's perspective

and render our judgment.

Nothing left to do
but wait.

Well, we tried, right?
We gave it our best shot.


I guess that's it, then.

Thanks for
your help, Marty.

Are you going to
be all right?

Even if we win,
I'll still be looking
over my shoulder

and double-checking
the locks.

What you've done took
a lot of guts, Kerry.

I'll be waiting
for your call.

Is anybody hungry?

I'll take that as a no.

exactly did Marty say?

I told you already.

He didn't say anything.
Just to meet him here.

How did he sound?

He sounded like Marty, Dad.
I don't know.

If he's coming all the way
over here,

it's got to mean
we lost.

I don't know why
I went through all this.

I should have just moved
somewhere where he could
never find me.

Oh, honey, now, you
don't know anything
until Marty gets here.

- Oh, hi, Marty.
- Hey.

They're right
in the front room.

a mess out there.

Hey, hello, everybody.

So what'd they say?

Read for yourself.

"Reversed and remanded.

"We adopt the perspective

"of a 'reasonable woman'

"because we believe
that a sex-blind

"'reasonable person' standard

"tends to ignore the
experiences of women.

"Men, who are rarely victims
of sexual assault,

"may view sexual
conduct in a vacuum

"without full appreciation

"of the underlying
threat of violence

"that a woman
may perceive."

What does it mean?

It means we won.

You've changed the way
the law reads.

You've made history, Kerry.


I'm so proud
of you, honey.
Thank you.

You did the
right thing.

And I'm sorry
that I...

I know, Mom.



Well, I think this calls
for a celebration.

Dad, you bought champagne.
I can't believe it.

What would you've done
if we lost?

Well, I got a bottle
of real cheap whiskey

we all could've
got drunk on.

Thank you, Dad.
Well, here's to
your little girl.

"Little girl"?

You know,
I have to talk to you
about that "little girl."

Oh, you're
my little girl.

Even when it's over,
it's not really over.

It has a way of
staying with you.

You still have

I've just learned to cope
with them a little better.

But you won!

What did I win?

I left the IRS,
lost most of my friends,
moved out of town.

I settled out of court

I was so exhausted
from it all.

It's still just my word
against his

and everybody gets to choose
who they believe.

Kerry, whether you
realize it or not,

what you did will
change everything.

I didn't set out
to change anything.

I just wanted him
to leave me alone.


Kerry Ellison ultimately settled her lawsuits against the IRS and Jack Gilcrest.

As a result of those settlements her allegations were never tried in a court of law.

Jack Gilcrest has denied Kerry's allegations.

The "Reasonable Woman" standard initiated
by Kerry Ellison is a benchmark in sexual

harassment law enabling thousands of women's
cases to be tried from a woman's perspctive.