Morgan Freeman: 'I did not assault women'

Morgan Freeman issued a second apology after eight people accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior,...

Posted: May 28, 2018 11:01 AM
Updated: May 28, 2018 11:01 AM

Morgan Freeman issued a second apology after eight people accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, and the actor said his actions should not be equated with incidents of sexual assault or abuse in the workplace.

CNN was first to report the allegations of inappropriate behavior and harassment as part of an investigation published Thursday.

In his statement issued late Friday, Freeman said "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 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."

CNN spoke to 16 people, eight of whom said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. Eight said they witnessed Freeman's alleged conduct. The 16 people together described a pattern of inappropriate behavior on set, while promoting his movies and at his production company Revelations Entertainment.

Four people who worked in production capacities on movie sets with Freeman over the last ten years described him as repeatedly behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work.

Three entertainment reporters who spoke to CNN said Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during press junkets, which are publicity events for journalists who cover new films, typically attended by the movie's biggest stars.

One of the three, CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas, the co-author of this article, says she was subjected to inappropriate behavior by Freeman more than a year ago, when she interviewed him at a press junket for "Going in Style."

Freeman also issued a statement after the allegations first surfaced, saying he is "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."

Following CNN's investigation, two outlets have published what they say are examples of questionable behavior by Freeman.

Entertainment Tonight released footage on Thursday from a 2016 interview for Freeman's movie "London Has Fallen," in which the actor is seen asking reporter Ashley Crossan if she is married and if she's ever "fooled around with older guys."

In another interview, this time from 2015, Freeman is seen on camera saying to activist and former Entertainment Tonight correspondent Janet Mock, "You got a dress halfway between your knee and your hips, and you sit down right across from me and you cross your legs."

Mock issued the following statement to ET regarding the incident with Freeman: "For me, as a young woman of color, who is a reporter and a fan of popular culture, I was deeply disappointed that someone who was seen as America's grandfather was susceptible to such disturbing behavior and felt comfortable enough to do that as cameras were rolling, and that he could take claim of my body and look at it before even looking into my eyes."

People magazine also published a first-person account written by reporter Maggie Parker who recounted an incident in which Freeman allegedly made a "lewd" comment implying he wanted to see her naked, at the premiere of "Now You See Me," in 2013.

Reports about Freeman's alleged behavior prompted credit card company Visa to suspend its marketing campaign that featured Freeman.

The Screen Actors Guild also said it is in the process of determining what, if any, action will be necessary regarding Freeman, who received its lifetime achievement award in January.

Accusations against Freeman are the latest in a series from women and men who have spoken out in recent months about inappropriate behavior by powerful men in Hollywood and other industries.

Movements punctuated by hashtags such as #MeToo were given life after accusations surfaced against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of abuse, misconduct and harassment by more than 80 women.

Weinstein was arraigned Friday on charges of first- and third-degree rape and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree, seven months after women began to come forward. Weinstein was charged for alleged incidents involving two women.

Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has previously denied accusations of sexual assault.

After his arraignment, Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman said "Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone. Nothing about today's proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein's position. He has entered a plea of not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 996341

Reported Deaths: 16245
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1343262101
Lake658231151
Allen57160791
Hamilton45963460
St. Joseph43954607
Elkhart35546503
Vanderburgh31975473
Tippecanoe27694256
Johnson24821440
Hendricks23647353
Porter22735362
Madison18538404
Clark18383248
Vigo17274300
Monroe15117197
LaPorte14987249
Delaware14931256
Howard14574286
Kosciusko12166147
Hancock11597175
Bartholomew11447179
Warrick11225188
Floyd10983214
Wayne10840248
Grant9898217
Morgan9361176
Boone8819115
Dubois8210129
Dearborn815492
Henry8107150
Noble7944106
Marshall7786134
Cass7462119
Lawrence7379168
Shelby7115114
Jackson691788
Gibson6480113
Harrison641591
Huntington630299
Knox6269105
DeKalb623796
Montgomery6184109
Miami586595
Putnam573477
Clinton567171
Whitley558055
Steuben550473
Wabash5250101
Jasper520475
Jefferson504695
Ripley492485
Adams472773
Daviess4596112
Scott433968
Greene421196
Wells419787
Clay418460
White414261
Decatur4118101
Fayette402186
Jennings383260
Posey374243
LaGrange352078
Washington352049
Randolph339999
Spencer336442
Fountain331858
Sullivan326652
Starke310868
Owen310169
Fulton304566
Orange290562
Jay278445
Perry264452
Franklin262742
Carroll258232
Rush257232
Vermillion254254
Parke229726
Pike227343
Tipton225659
Blackford187840
Pulaski181155
Crawford158122
Newton155648
Benton150117
Brown144047
Martin137319
Switzerland133911
Warren120116
Union106615
Ohio84012
Unassigned0532

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1490451

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1620041662
Cuyahoga1439412412
Hamilton1040301409
Montgomery727961240
Summit606541094
Lucas55296904
Butler50803707
Stark456401053
Lorain34875568
Warren32293369
Mahoning30057672
Clermont27811321
Lake26457434
Delaware23872162
Licking23361283
Trumbull22357552
Fairfield22081241
Greene21967311
Medina21624305
Clark19513349
Richland18225280
Portage17579247
Wood17122220
Allen15627269
Miami15259296
Muskingum14417174
Columbiana13587263
Wayne13494263
Tuscarawas12372298
Marion11742175
Scioto11313154
Pickaway11246141
Erie10586180
Ross10397196
Lawrence9630137
Hancock9476149
Ashtabula9370197
Belmont9059197
Geauga8766157
Jefferson8439191
Huron8172139
Union806256
Washington7995137
Sandusky7654145
Athens765372
Knox7539138
Darke7525151
Seneca7166144
Ashland6761125
Auglaize663396
Shelby6374111
Brown626282
Crawford6147130
Mercer605793
Defiance6043102
Fulton588596
Highland585899
Madison584976
Clinton573890
Logan566292
Guernsey564867
Preble5623121
Putnam5227108
Williams515384
Perry510661
Champaign500871
Jackson493470
Ottawa476686
Coshocton466382
Morrow448256
Pike428462
Fayette419960
Adams409287
Gallia408165
Hardin407176
Van Wert361578
Henry356671
Holmes3539122
Hocking349078
Wyandot315761
Carroll294559
Paulding274345
Meigs256849
Monroe210553
Noble195146
Morgan188132
Harrison177042
Vinton161124
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Angola
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 54°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 56°
It’s a cool Saturday with drier conditions and low humidity levels.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events