New claims have emerged from female reporters that actor Morgan Freeman crossed the line by making sexually inappropriate comments during interviews, videos of which have been examined in light of recent accusations against Freeman.
On Thursday, CNN reported that eight women claimed Freeman, 80, acted inappropriately toward them while he was working with them. The report also said there was a widespread pattern of sexual harassment at Freeman’s production company.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” Freeman said in a statement released to ET. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
In addition to claims from women on the sets of movies he was making, media accounts said reporters were also among Freeman’s targets.
During a 2016 interview for his movie “London Has Fallen,” Freeman asked ET correspondent Ashley Crossan, “Are you married?
“No,” Crossan said.
“Fool around with older guys? I’m just asking,” Freemen then said.
At the end of the interview, Crossan told Freeman, ”Pleasure to meet you.”
“Mine,” Freeman replied. “Look at yourself.”
Another ET correspondent, Janet Mock, had a 2015 interaction with Freeman that was recorded on video.
“I don’t know how you all manage to do that all the time,” Freeman said. “You got a dress halfway between your knee and your hips, and you sit down right across from me and you cross your legs.”
Mock made it clear the attention was unwanted.
“This interaction is an exhibition of the casual nature at which men in positions of power believe that everything belongs to them, including women’s bodies as they’re merely just trying to do their job,” she said in a statement.
“For me, as a young woman of color, who is a reporter and a fan of popular culture, I was deeply disappointed that someone who was seen as America’s grandfather was susceptible to such disturbing behavior and felt comfortable enough to do that as cameras were rolling, and that he could take claim of my body and look at it before even looking into my eyes.”
Some female reporters said the comments were a form of banter.
Tyra Martin, a Chicago reporter, told CNN she always felt “in on the joke” when Freeman commented about her appearance, with one exception.
“When I stood up, I pulled my skirt part of my dress down and he did say, ‘Oh, don’t pull it down now.'” Martin said. “That gave me pause but I never felt uncomfortable.”
In video of an interview obtained by HLN, Freeman told Martin, “You’ve got magic written all over you child.”
Freeman then told Martin he was single, and she asked him how he liked life as a bachelor.
“I am enjoying bachelor life immensely. I get to look at you and drool,” he said, according to People magazine.
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