Dustin Hoffman has apologised for allegedly sexually harassing an intern several years ago.

The 80-year-old actor has been accused by Anna Graham Hunter, who was working on his 'Death of a Salesman' set in 1985, of making unwanted advances and saying vulgar things to her, and he ''feels terrible'' that he might have upset anyone and insisted the alleged incident was ''not reflective'' of who he is.

He said in a statement: ''I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.''

Anna has written a piece for the Hollywood Reporter detailing her experiences from the set, which are taken from copies of notes she wrote to her sister at the time.

She wrote in her introduction: ''When I was a senior in high school in New York City, interning as a production assistant on the set of the 'Death of a Salesman' TV film, he asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on set; I did.

''He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me.''

In the piece, Anna branded Dustin a ''lech'' in her notes written after just 10 days on set.

She wrote: ''Today, I realised some things about this business that scare me. First of all, Dustin's a lech. I'm completely disillusioned. After 'Tootsie', I thought I wanted to marry him...

''Today, when I was walking Dustin to his limo, he felt my ass four times. I hit him each time, hard, and told him he was a dirty old man. He took off his hat and pointed to his head (shaved for the part) and said, 'No, I'm a dirty young man, I have a full head of hair.' ''

In her notes from a few days later Anna detailed how she walked off the set following a ''gross'' remark from the Hollywood star.

She wrote: ''Today this business got scarier. Or at least less appealing. This morning when I asked Dustin what he wanted for breakfast, he said something that beat even his lows. It was worse than anything anyone has ever said to me on the street. It was so gross I couldn't say anything. I just turned around and walked out.''

And she revealed she had been urged to ''sacrifice'' her values and brush off the attention.

She continued: ''But the bad news is Brenda* [my supervisor] said it's too bad it became an issue. Hell, I didn't make it an issue. He did.

''She said that for the sake of the production we have to sacrifice some of our values and just let it roll over our heads.

''She said we should try to have a sense of humour and just giggle and slap his hands or something. But that's when I feel the cheapest, like, 'Oh, she really likes it.' ''

At the end of her piece, the actress discussed her conflicting feelings towards the 'Tootsie' star but concluded that he is a ''predator''.

She wrote: ''At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere. He was a predator, I was a child, and this was sexual harassment.''