Upon seeing a pre-screening of the film, Jodie Foster thought her performance as Sarah Tobias was so awful that she immediately began preparing for and taking the GRE's for graduate school. She was prepared to leave her film career behind and focus on academia...until she won the Academy Award for her performance.
Kelly McGillis was offered the role of Sarah Tobias, but having survived a violent sexual assault in 1982 by two men who broke into her apartment, she declined the role and instead fought for the part of Kathryn Murphy.
In their separate careers several years after the release of The Accused (1988), both leading ladies, Kelly McGillis and Jodie Foster, publicly and proudly acknowledged their homosexuality. McGillis came out in 2009, and Foster in 2013.
Jodie Foster has since acknowledged that she purposely gave a trite performance in her audition so that studio executives would feel that she was a safe choice. (Foster had been going through a bit of a dry spell at the time and badly needed a big role in a mainstream movie.)