Morgan Freeman Accused of Harassment and Inappropriate Behavior by 8 Women (Update)
By Antoinette Bueno
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Morgan Freeman has been accused of harassment by multiple women who have either worked on movie sets with him, worked for his production company, or interviewed him in a professional setting.
In a CNN report published on Thursday, eight women allege the 80-year-old actor subjected them to inappropriate behavior, including unwanted touching and comments about their figure. Most of the accusers said they didn't report Freeman's alleged behavior because they feared for their jobs.
Morgan responded in a statement to ET. "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," the statement reads. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."
One production assistant alleges Freeman sexually harassed her for months when she worked on the film Going in Style in 2015, and in one incident, she claims he "kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear." She claims his co-star, Alan Arkin, eventually told him to stop, and Freeman "got freaked out and didn't know what to say."
Meanwhile, a senior member of the production staff of Now You See Me in 2012 also alleges, "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."
Multiple women allege Morgan would stare at them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. A woman who was a manager at Morgan's production company, Revelations Entertainment, tells CNN that sometimes Freeman would allegedly "come over to my desk to say hi and he'd just stand there and stare at me. He would stare at my breasts."
"If I ever passed him he would stare at me in an awkward way, would look me up and down sometimes stopping and just staring," she claims, further alleging: "One time he stopped, looked me up and down as I walked into a room of people, and everyone burst out laughing. And I literally froze feeling very uncomfortable and one of the people in the office said, 'Don't worry, that's just Morgan.'"
CNN reports they talked to eight witnesses who back up claims of inappropriate behavior.
"One time I witnessed Morgan walk up to an intern and start massaging her shoulder," a male former employee at Revelations alleges. "The intern got visibly red and wiggled out of his grasp, it was awkward."
Three entertainment reporters also claim Freeman made sexually suggestive remarks to them during press junkets.
"I was just trying to do my job and I brushed it off," one reporter, a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, says about Morgan's alleged behavior. "You don't want to put him on the spot because one, he's famous and two, it's on camera and three, you just want to do your job."
Freeman issued an additional statement on Friday evening. "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," the statement read.
On Tuesday, ET obtained a 10-page letter sent to CNN by Freeman's lawyer, accusing the outlet of "malicious intent" and "journalistic malpracitce."
"CNN has defamed Mr. Freeman," the letter reads. "CNN has inflicted serious injury on his reputation and career. At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologize to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that it used to unjustly attack him on May 24."
CNN issued a statement in response: "CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue."
[Originally published Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 10:14 A.M. PT]