A report published Thursday by CNN alleges Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman engaged in sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior with eight women while promoting his movies and at his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
CNN reporters said they spoke to 16 people about Freeman, who is now 80, as part of its investigation. Eight of the women said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman. Eight others said they witnessed Freeman’s alleged conduct.
A young production assistant working on the film “Going In Style” in 2015 told CNN that Freeman subjected her to unwanted touching and comments about her figure and clothing on a near-daily basis. Freeman would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back, she said.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 24, 2018
In one incident, she alleges Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.”
A 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.
“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.
Seven of the people who spoke to CNN described an environment at Revelations Entertainment that included allegations of harassment or inappropriate behavior by Freeman there, with one incident allegedly witnessed by Lori McCreary, who co-founded Revelations with Freeman. Another person accused McCreary of making a discriminatory remark regarding a female candidate for a job at the Producers Guild of America, where McCreary is co-president.
A former employee of Revelations Entertainment said the actor made an inappropriate comment to her on set of his science documentary TV series “Through the Wormhole.” The woman told CNN that Freeman “looked me up and down,” and then asked her, “How do you feel about sexual harassment?”
“I was stunned,” she told CNN. “This is the person that I worked for, this is his company, I didn’t expect it at all … I said timidly, ‘I love it’ in a sarcastic way hoping to make light of the situation because I was so confused and then he turned to the guys on the crew … and said, ‘See guys, this is how you do it.'”
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 “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.”
CNN claims there were multiple times during its investigation in which one of its reporters contacted a person who had worked with Freeman to ask them if they had seen or been subjected to inappropriate behavior by an actor they had worked with, but never suggested the name of a specific individual in their question.
The report says on more than one occasion, the person would immediately tell them they knew exactly who the reporter had in mind: Morgan Freeman.
Morgan Freeman issues a statement after women accused him of inappropriate behavior and harassment.
"I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent." pic.twitter.com/otdkfI1phL
— Mary Ann Georgantopoulos (@marygeorgant) May 24, 2018
Thursday morning, Freeman issued a brief statement regarding the allegations, saying he apologizes to anyone who felt “uncomfortable or disrespected” but that he “would never intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy.”
Freeman won the Academy Award in 2005 for best supporting actor for his role in “Million Dollar Baby.” He’s been nominated for Oscars four other times.
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