Morgan Freeman Says Alleged Sexual Harassment Was Intended to Be Complimentary

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CNN reporter Chloe Melas was six months pregnant when she was assigned the unenviable task of retrieving a novel quote from three senior citizens at a junket for a mediocre heist movie, for which the big draw was Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. The topic of pregnancy came up, Morgan Freeman’s eyeballs bulged, darted up and down, and he said, smacking his lips: boy, I wish I was there, presumably as in, I wish I was there watching you have sex. [See the CNN clip, 4:30.]

It was complimentary humor, Morgan Freeman says:

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.

This adds a little more not-sorry to the sorry-not-sorry statement he made on Thursday after CNN, including Melas, reported several allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment, including frequently oggling staff, making sexual comments, and allegedly attempting to lift a production assistant’s skirt.

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No, she’s kidding


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