(Update: Morgan Freeman issued a second statement Friday. You can read it here.)
Morgan Freeman on Thursday issued a public apology shortly after CNN published a report in which eight women accused released the actor of misconduct, from unwelcome sexual comments to “unwanted touching” to harassment.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” Freeman said in a statement. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
The eight women, all but two of them unnamed, said the actor made unwelcome remarks about their appearance or their clothing choices, and some reported he would stare at them or touch them.
Each of the women said they didn’t report Freeman’s behavior because they feared for their jobs. Instead, the women said they tried to come up with ways to combat the harassment on their own.
In addition, CNN reported that eight other sources said they witnessed disturbing behavior by the actor on film sets, while promoting his movies and also at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
A woman who worked on the 2012 movie “Now You See Me” said Freeman sexually harassed her and made comments about her body. “He did comment on our bodies… We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted,” she said.
Three entertainment reporters told CNN that Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during press junkets. CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas, who co-wrote the network’s story, said she was six months pregnant when she interviewed Freeman last year when he was promoting “Going in Style” and that he told her, “I wish I was there” and “you are ripe.”
A former male Revelations staffer said, “[He’d say] things like ‘I’d like to have an hour with her’ or make vulgar and sexual comments about women. He would be verbally inappropriate and it was just shocking.”