After being accused of sexual harassment by several women on Thursday, veteran actor Morgan Freeman has now issued a longer statement in response to the allegations.
CNN had reported that eight women said Freeman created an uncomfortable work environment with frequent sexual comments and unwanted touching. On Thursday, he issued a brief apology. Now, through his publicist Stan Rosenfield, Freeman released the following:
“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. 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 a 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.”
The longer statement was issued late Friday. The accusations weren’t restricted to a single environment with the alleged unwanted behavior pattern taking place across movie sets, during media interviews or working at his production company Revelations Entertainment.