BREAKING NEWS FIRE CREWS RESPONDING TO LARGE FIRE IN ALBERT LEA Full Story
CLOSINGS: View Closings

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 10:01 AM
Updated: May 28, 2018 10:01 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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
Hubbard117728
Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
Cottonwood9284
Renville92729
Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
Pipestone74718
Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
Pennington6758
Swift6149
Murray6064
Faribault5902
Pope5641
Clearwater5389
Stevens5333
Marshall5289
Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
Unassigned38259
Lincoln3721
Norman3638
Big Stone3332
Mahnomen3164
Grant2956
Kittson2408
Red Lake2283
Traverse1521
Lake of the Woods1021
Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
Humboldt8015
Shelby79511
Emmet78626
Guthrie77115
Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
Palo Alto6734
Keokuk6477
Pocahontas5984
Howard5809
Osceola5411
Greene5401
Ida53013
Clarke5004
Montgomery49311
Davis4819
Taylor4773
Monona4516
Monroe45113
Adair4489
Worth3820
Van Buren3755
Fremont3743
Lucas3376
Decatur3290
Wayne3077
Audubon3052
Ringgold2382
Adams1792
Rochester
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Mason City
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Austin
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Charles City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 22°
More sunshine heading into the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Improvements to Highway 14 corridor

Image

A plan for dangerous Highway 14

Image

Albert Lea fire claims warehouse

Image

Massive warehouse fire in Albert Lea

Image

Aaron's Thursday Evening Forecast

Image

Hotel Indigo in Rochester adapts to pandemic

Image

Providing a gift for frontline workers

Image

2,000 pigs die in Blooming Prairie farm fire

Image

Gov. Reynolds gives an update on vaccine arrival

Image

Day Center, Warming Center moving after positive COVID-19 cases

Community Events