I did not create unsafe work environments, I did not assault women: Morgan Freeman

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After Harvey Weinstein and Bill Crosby, veteran Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior towards women. The Oscar-winning actor has issued a new statement on the entire fiasco. The actor who had previously apologized for his behaviour released a longer and a more specific statement that denied any reports of sexual assaults and says that his compliments were taken out of context and words misconstrued.

The statement read, “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.”

 

The actor further added, “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."

RECOMMENDED READ: MORGAN FREEMAN ISSUES A PUBLIC APOLOGY AMIDST CLAIMS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Freeman had apologized on Thursday after he was accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour by eight different women including a journalist. Freeman had said in a statement on Thursday, “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.”

According to reports, the veteran actor’s alleged inappropriate behaviour occurred on-set with the female staff of his production house, Revelations Entertainment that he started in 1996 with business partner Lori McCreary and with reporters. One of the women who have accused him of sexual harassment was working as a production assistant at the time and Freeman frequently touched her and made unwanted comments on her dressing and looks during the filming of Going in Style. The woman who was in her 20s at the time of the incident said that at one time Freeman kept trying to lift her skirt up and asked whether she was wearing any underwear. She went on to claim that the 80-year-old actor only stopped his comments when his co-star Alan Arkin told him to.

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