Morgan Freeman has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including reporters covering his movies, according to a new report.
UPDATE: Morgan Freeman has released a statement regarding the alleged harassment, writing, “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.”
Sixteen people spoke to CNN about actor Morgan Freeman, 80, claiming that he engaged in what some called inappropriate behavior, and what some called harassment. Eight of the women interviewed said they were victims, while eight others said they witnessed the alleged misconduct. Together, the sixteen described alleged inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set, while promoting his movies, and at his production company, Revelations Entertainment. CNN reports that they reached out to “dozens more people who worked for or with Freeman” as part of their investigation. Some apparently praised Freeman, saying that they never witnessed any inappropriate behavior, or said that “he was a consummate professional on set and in the office.” HollywoodLife reached out to Morgan Freeman’s rep for comment but did not immediately hear back.
Three entertainment reporters claim that Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during press junkets covering his films. One of the three journalists was CNN entertainment reporter and former HollywoodLife reporter Chloe Melas, who co-authored the outlet’s report about Freeman. Melas claims that Freeman made inappropriate comments to her over a year ago at a junket for Freeman’s movie, Going in Style. Melas was six months pregnant at the time, and Freeman, in a room full of people including costars Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, reportedly shook her hand, not letting go while allegedly looking her up and down repeatedly. Freeman allegedly said more than once a variation of, “I wish I was there.”
Melas claims that he also said to her, “You are ripe.” Cameras were on and recording during this exchange, and captured one of Freeman’s remarks to Melas — “Boy, do I wish I was there.” The alleged incident inspired her months-long reporting process with the report’s co-author, An Phung.
Four people who worked in production on movie sets with Freeman over the past decade alleged that he “repeatedly” behaved in ways that made women feel uncomfortable. In two such incidents, women claimed that Freeman allegedly touched them inappropriately. One of the women was a production assistant on 2015’s Going in Style, who claimed that Freeman allegedly tried to lift up her skirt several times. Three more women said Freeman allegedly made public comments about women’s clothing or bodies. None of them reported the alleged behavior, with most saying they feared for their jobs, according to CNN. Instead, they said they changed the way they dressed when they knew Freeman would be around to combat the alleged harassment.
The Going in Style production assistant claims that she was subjected to several months of harassment on set, alleging to CNN that Freeman allegedly subjected her to inappropriate touching, and comments about her clothes and body almost every day. Freeman allegedly would rub her lower back or rest his hand there, she claims. She told CNN in one incident, Freeman allegedly “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.” He never succeeded — he would allegedly tried to lift her skirt, but she would move away, and he’d allegedly try again. Eventually, “Alan [Arkin, Freeman’s costar in the film] made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say,” the PA said.
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