Actress Tippi Hedren rose to fame during the ’60s as the leading lady of such late-period Alfred Hitchcock classics as The Birds and Marnie. But in her upcoming memoir Tippi, an excerpt of which has been obtained and reported on by the New York Post, Hedren reveals that that stardom came with a terrible price.

In the book, Hitchcock’s seeming muse details her relationship with the acclaimed filmmaker, and it sounds like a tale of soured obsession ripped right from the screen. After plucking Hedren from anonymity, the director developed an unhealthy fixation on the woman, instructing cast and crew on the set of The Birds not to “touch her” in a fit of territorial possession. She writes that when Hitchcock saw her speaking to another man, he’d give her an “expressionless, unwavering stare ... even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the soundstage.”

More disturbing still, Hedren recalls Hitchcock stalking her with late-night drives by her apartment, and one incident in which he attempted to kiss her in the back of a limousine. (“It was an awful, awful moment.”) Matters got worse on the set of Marnie, where Hitchcock arranged for Hedren’s dressing room to be directly connected to the director’s office. She writes that “he tried to put his hands on me” and that “it was sexual, it was perverse... the harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became.”

It’s a troubling revelation, and yet, in light of Hitchcock’s chosen subject material — controlling men terrorizing fair blonde women — it hardly comes as a shock. Representatives of Alfred Hitchcock have yet to comment on the matter. Tippi goes to bookstores on November 1.

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