On May 24th CNN broke an exclusive story that accused the legendary Actor Morgan Freeman for sexual assault and sexual harassment on set and in his production company Revelations Entertainment.
A total of 8 women accused the actor of inappropriate behaviour during interviews,on movie sets and during work interactions.
Morgan Freeman’s lawyer today demanded CNN retract the story and apologize to the actor.In a 10-page letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker,attorney Robert M. Schwartz calls their story “the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice.”
He notes in the letter sent Tuesday that his firm, the Los Angeles-based Irell & Manella LLP, has begun its own investigation of CNN’s reporting. Nevertheless, he demands that CNN issue a retraction and an apology to Freeman and his producing partner, Lori McCreary.
Melas and Phung who went on CNN and accused the veteran actor maintained that they spoke to 16 people in all, eight of whom said they were victims of what some of them described as harassment or inappropriate behavior by Freeman, and said they witnessed an act of misconduct by the actor. Altogether, they say, the 16 accounts “described a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Freeman on set, while promoting his movies and at his production company Revelations Entertainment.”
After issuing an initial two-sentence denial on Thursday, Freeman went into greater depth in a Friday statement to The New York Times.
“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them,” he began. “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,” he continued. “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.”
“But I also want to be clear,” Freeman told the Times, “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.”
Schwartz’s retraction demand comes after Visa and the transit system for Vancouver, Canada, suspended the airing of ads voiced by Freeman.