Salve Regina theatre professor fired after accusations of sexual harassment

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) —  A former theatre professor at Salve Regina University is no longer employed by the school after several accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment.

The University has cut all ties with Tom Gleadow, who taught classes as recently as this spring, and is a prominent actor and director in Rhode Island’s theatre community.

In recent weeks, several of Gleadow’s former students have come public with their stories of misconduct.

“I put it away, I thought I was the only one,” said Kat Witschen, a former student of Gleadow’s at Salve Regina, who is now accusing him of harassment.

Like many other accusers, Witschen says she was offered money for an outside acting project Gleadow and a friend were working on.

“He asked me to play an FBI agent and he was the bad guy during the photo shoot,” Witschen told ABC 6. “He bound and gagged me at his apartment.”

Witschen says she was uncomfortable with Gleadow’s conduct, but figured it was just acting since he was such a prominent figure in the industry.

Gleadow then propositioned Witschen another two times for photo and video shoots.

“This time the binding and gagging turned into a hog tie,” she described. “And this time he pretended to knock me out and use chloroform.” 

Another accuser, who wishes to remain anonymous tells ABC6 a similar story.

“We discussed what the project would be — it was some light stage combat and we filmed a little upstairs,” the woman recounted. “But then for the rest of the project, he took me to his basement where he used restraints on me.”

Both women tell ABC6 they were paid for their shoots, which is partially why they remained quiet until now. 

In recent weeks, several other Salve Regina theatre students and graduates have been posting their stories of misconduct by Gleadow on social media. 

“That’s when I realized it wasn’t just me, and decided to tell my story,” said Witschen.

“He’s clearly a predator,” she said. “Dozens and dozens of women have said to me the same thing happened to them, or that he propositioned them.”

On Thursday, Witschen filed a police report with Newport Police, who are now investigating other accusations against Gleadow.

ABC6 reached out to Gleadow for comment on this story, and has not heard back.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: News, Rhode Island