Morgan Freeman has been left “devastated” by allegations of sexual misconduct.
The 80-year-old was exposed in a CNN report on Thursday (24May18) with accounts from 16 people, eight of whom were reportedly victims.
The allegations included incidents of inappropriate behavior on the set of The Shawshank Redemption star’s movies, on the promotional trail, and while working at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
Freeman apologized after the allegations surfaced, and has now issued a further fiery response to the accusations, and insisted his comments and behavior was “humor”.
“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports,” he said in a statement. “All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humour.
“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women – and men – feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally,” Freeman added.
He concluded: “But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”
One of the women, who was working as a production assistant at the time, allegedly accused Freeman of frequently touching her and making unwanted comments about her appearance in 2015, during the filming of Going in Style.
“It was constant comments about the way I looked,” she told CNN, and detailed one incident where Freeman allegedly “kept trying to lift my skirt up” and asked “if I was wearing underwear.”
She alleged that Freeman only stopped once his co-star Alan Arkin told him to.
Entertainment journalist Maggie Parker also opened up about an “inappropriate interaction” with the actor at the premiere of his film Now You See Me in 2013. She claimed she felt violated after Freeman made a lewd joke about her being naked.
– Cover Media0