Several women accused Morgan Freeman of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior in a CNN report published Thursday, and the actor and his lawyer have responded with a series of denials and demanded a retraction. "However, there is substantial evidence that Ms. Melas imagined an incident, or exaggerated a non-malicious remark wildly out of proportion to reality, to give her a basis to go after Mr. Freeman and cause him the grave harm that CNN's story has inflicted".
"Given that Mr. Freeman is a world-renowned actor, and that the article sought to associate him with Hollywood actors and executives who have used their positions to trade sex for career advancement, it will come as no surprise to you that CNN's article attracted explosive attention in newspapers and websites throughout the world", the letter from Freeman's attorney reads. The attorney claims that one of the article's authors, Chloe Melas, "baited and prodded" witnesses and victims to speak out against Freeman.
The attorney wrote that CNN reporter Chloe Melas, who cowrote the report and accused Freeman of making inappropriate comments about her appearance at a press junket a year ago, had "no reasonable basis" to interpret what Freeman said to her as harassment.
Melas, who was six months pregnant at the time, told CNN's Headline News that Freeman said to her, "Boy do I wish I was there".
The other named woman, producer Tyra Martin of WGN, also said her comments were misconstrued. "But CNN did", Schwartz writes.
Martin later clarified to TMZ that she wasn't accusing Freeman of sexual harassment. "If CNN were committed to impartial reporting about Mr. Freeman, on a topic of extreme sensitivity and with the potential to destroy him, CNN should not have allowed that breakdown to occur".
While Freeman has apologized for behavior making other women uncomfortable, it seems he is resolute he did nothing wrong with Melas.
Freeman, 80, issued two statements since the allegations broke last week, first saying, "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy".
"The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman's lawyer are disappointing and are hard to reconcile with Mr. Freeman's own public statements in the aftermath of the story", the cable network said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, according to Deadline. 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 apologised Thursday and will continue to apologise to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally.
"I did not create unsafe work environments". The woman said Freeman "kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear".
Wendy Williams weighed in on the Morgan Freeman sexual harassment scandal as one of her Hot Topics, and had a lot to say!