A report published Monday says “several” of the women who have accused Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment have contacted lawyers about their claims.
The report from TheBlast.com says at least one of the women has contacted Gloria Allred, the attorney who represented alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby.
The report did not specify if the women had contacted attorneys in advance of filing lawsuits or if they were simply seeking legal advice.
Morgan Freeman Alleged Victims Lawyering Up With Attorney Who Took on Weinstein, Cosby… https://t.co/BuChx5bwhq
— NEWS MAKER (@NEWS_MAKER) May 28, 2018
A CNN report published Thursday revealed eight women had accused the 80-year-old actor of sexual harassment and/or inappropriate behavior with eight women while promoting his movies and at his production company, Revelations Entertainment. Eight other women said they witnessed Freeman’s alleged conduct.
According to TheBlast, additional women will be coming forward in the next few weeks with allegations against Freeman that are similar to the ones that have already been made public.
"My life is at risk of being undermined." Morgan Freeman pushes back against misconduct allegations https://t.co/fD4bvAcjat
— TIME (@TIME) May 28, 2018
Freeman issued a statement on Friday, saying he never meant to make any woman feel uncomfortable.
“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,” Freeman said. “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’s investigation into Freeman’s behavior began after the report’s co-author Chloe Melas — who is also an entertainment reporter CNN — claimed to have experienced harassment from Freeman during a press junket interview for the 2017 film “Going In Style.”
Melas said she was six months pregnant at the time of the interview. Freeman, who was with his co-stars in the film, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine, allegedly said to Melas, “You are ripe.”
Then, prior to the start of the interview with all three actors, cameras recorded Freeman staring at Melas and telling her, “Boy, do I wish I was there.”
Among the claims made by other women in the CNN report, a young production assistant working on the film “Going In Style” in 2015 alleged that Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching and comments about her figure and clothing on a near-daily basis. In one incident, she alleges Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.”
Another woman who was a senior member of the production staff of the movie “Now You See Me” in 2012 told CNN that Freeman sexually harassed her and her female assistant on numerous occasions by making comments about their bodies.
In light of the allegations against Freeman, Visa said it is suspending all of its ads featuring the actor.
“We are aware of the allegations that have been made against Mr. Freeman. At this point, Visa will be suspending our marketing in which the actor is featured,” the company said late Thursday.
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