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Morgan Freeman has issued a second, longer statement following the story published by CNN that accused him of sexually harassment and inappropriate behavior toward at least eight women.
The alleged behavior and comments include touching women inappropriately—including an alleged attempt to lift a production assistant’s skirt—and making offensive comments about women’s clothes and/or bodies.
One of these acts are said to have been perpetrated on Lori McCreary, his fellow Madam Secretary Executive Producer, with whom he founded his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
The statement reads:
“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.
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 humor.
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.
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.”
When the story initially broke, he responded with a statement, saying, “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
He must have realized the story was growing and followed up with the more detailed statement. The fallout has already started as Visa has cut ties with him, he was the voice of its ad campaigns. SAG-AFTRA is also reviewing if it should revoke the lifetime achievement award given to Morgan earlier this year.