As those who have been following the latest celebrity news know, Morgan Freeman was recently accused of sexually assaulting as many as eight different women. It was CNN that first broke the Morgan Freeman sexual assault story on May 24. Now, four days later, the 80-year-old actor appears ready to return to work.
People notes that Monday, May 28, is the first time Freeman has stepped out in public after the sexual harassment claim story broke. Freeman was spotted in the state of Georgia making his way to the set of The Poison Rose. Freeman stars opposite to John Travolta in the upcoming film. People speculates Freeman’s attire was an attempt to keep a “low profile,” as he was sporting a pastel colored dress shirt with a pair of jeans and a blue hat.
While Memorial Day 2018 is the first time Freeman has made a public appearance since the eight women accused him of sexual assault, he did release a public statement on Friday about the accusations.
In his statement, Freeman claimed he never created an unsafe work environment and he never assaulted any women.
“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.”
After the investigation into Morgan Freeman was made public by CNN, the 80-year-old actor also released a public apology. In the apology, he noted that anyone who has worked with him in the past knows that he would never intentionally hurt or offend anyone.
He proceeded to apologize to anyone he had made uncomfortable in any form while working with them.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
A day after releasing his public apology, Freeman issued another statement noting that he apparently didn’t always come off the way he intended to.
He also opened up about how “devastated” he was that 80 years of hard work was on the line. He clarified that he felt all victims of assault and harassment deserve to have a voice.
“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.”
During his many statements about the ongoing investigation, Freeman admitted that he was a man that used complements and humor to make both men and women feel comfortable and “at ease” when they were working with him.
He claimed that he would often complement individuals in a light-hearted and humorous way, but he never believed it was in a way that would offend anyone.
“And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally.”
According to People, the number of women who have come forward to report Morgan Freeman assaulting or harassing them has risen to 17. Maggie Parker, an entertainment journalist,who frequently contributes pieces to People Magazine, was number 17 on the list. The reporter claimed that she and Freeman had an inappropriate interaction during the premiere of his film, Now You See Me, in 2013.