Dakota Johnson Reveals The Disturbing Item Alfred Hitchcock Once Gifted Her Mom

The following article includes allegations of psychological trauma and abuse.

Alfred Hitchcock achieved icon status thanks to his horror films. However, for Dakota Johnson's family, his real-life behavior was more terrifying than anything on the silver screen.

Johnson comes from a long line of leading ladies. Not only is her mom Melanie Griffith, but her maternal grandmother, Tippi Hedren, is a Hollywood legend. Known for her work in Hitchcock films like "The Birds" and "Marnie," Hedren was often referred to as the filmmaker's muse. However, as Hedren herself revealed in her 2016 memoir, their dynamic was a dark one. Hitchcock, she wrote, is "a man I look back on with admiration, gratitude, and utter disgust." Per an excerpt obtained by New York Post, the filmmaker allegedly sexually harassed Hedren for years. Hedren also claimed that Hitchcock stalked her, and rationed her interactions with other men. On top of the psychological trauma she endured, he also made repeated physical advances. When she fought back, he promised to destroy her career — and he followed through on it.

Heartbreakingly, Hedren explained that she only ever spoke out decades later because, at the time, "sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn't exist." That said, Hedren has maintained that while Hitchcock may have destroyed her professionally, "I never gave him the power to ruin my life." That didn't stop him from trying, though.

Hitchcock tried to intimidate Tippi Hedren using her family

Alfred Hitchcock responded to Tippi Hedren's rejections with a reign of terror. According to her memoir (via New York Post), he used real birds to shoot the attack scene in "The Birds." That upped the danger of the situation. "Not even the greatest trainer in the world could control every move an animal makes, especially when it's under stress." To make matters worse, after Hedren began showing physical signs of stress, he continued to push, only allowing her time off when a doctor declared that further trauma would "kill her." It's unclear if that was the catalyst for his sending a young Melanie Griffith a terrifying "gift."

Speaking to Vanity Fair as their July 2022 cover star, Dakota Johnson revealed that her mother was left in shock one Christmas morning. Hitchcock had sent her a doll in her mother's image — in a coffin. "It's alarming and dark," said the "Fifty Shades of Grey" actor. Even more than that, though, the whole ordeal was "really, really sad for that little girl."

Thankfully, Hedren has gone on to live a long life. In fact, in January, she celebrated her 92nd birthday. Even after all she went through, she's seen her daughter and granddaughter climb the ladder as she was prevented from doing. If that's not the mark of a true heroine, we don't know what is.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).