Julianna Margulies Recalls Unnerving Hotel Room Incident With Steven Seagal

Julianna Margulies is known for her starring roles in E.R. and The Good Wife, but her most recent work includes the TV shows Billions and The Morning Show. She’s currently promoting her memoir, Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life, which hit stands on May 4.

The book highlights her childhood and relationships with her parents, but it also dives into interesting moments in her professional life. Margulies has had some remarkable experiences throughout her career, but an early encounter with action star Steven Seagal scared her.

Julianna Margulies attends a screening of ‘Three Christs’ on January 9, 2020 in New York City
Julianna Margulies attends a screening of ‘Three Christs’ on January 9, 2020 in New York City | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Julianna Margulies started her career in the 1990s

After attending Sarah Lawrence College where she studied theater and art history, Julianna Margulies pursued an acting career. She lived in New York City and worked as a restaurant server while juggling auditions, and eventually landed her first feature film role in 1991’s Out for Justice.

Her breakout role came in 1994 when she was cast as Nurse Hathaway in E.R. She spent six years on the popular series and famously walked away from a $27 million contract renewal. Margulies branched out to do more stage productions, films, and TV series, but she admits the path hasn’t always been easy.

RELATED: Why Julianna Margulies Risked ‘Career Suicide’ By Turning Down $27 Million and Walking Away From ‘ER’

Margulies details alleged hotel room incident with Steven Seagal

Out for Justice starred Steven Seagal in the lead role as Gino Felino, and Margulies played a sex worker named Rica. During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Margulies recounted the casting process for the film and how she ended up alone with Seagal.

She said the casting director called and asked her to meet Seagal at his hotel to run lines. She promised Margulies she would be present at the meeting. Margulies did not have money for transportation, but the casting director ensured her their team would cover the costs.

“When I got there, the casting director was not there,” she said. “And it was a frightening moment because he asked me to sit on a couch, and there was something underneath the cushion.” Margulies claimed Seagal pulled a gun from under the cushion.

It dawned on her that she was 23, alone in a room with an armed action star, and no one knew her whereabouts. As she formulated an out in her mind, Seagal allegedly asked her to come into the bedroom where he proceeded to read her palm. He said he was a healer.

He continued to read her other palm while detailing how he could heal her body. “The tough New Yorker in me inwardly was laughing because it was so awful and hilarious that I just sort of stood up and I went, ‘Well, that was fun. Thanks about the kidneys. Gotta go!’ And I just ran for the door,” said Margulies.

In the elevator, she remembered that she needed reimbursement for car fare, and reluctantly returned to Seagal’s room to request the money. According to Margulies’ claim, she quickly grabbed a folded bill from him and looked at in the elevator. It was $100.

When Showbiz Cheat Sheet reached out, Seagal’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Similar allegations have plagued Seagal

Margulies is not the only person to accuse Seagal of inappropriate behavior. Portia de Rossi claimed he exposed himself to her during an audition, and Jenny McCarthy and Lisa Guerrero allegedly had similar experiences.

In 2018, several women accused the actor of sexual assault. They all claimed the incidents happened while auditioning for film roles with him.