A recent CNN report alleged that Morgan Freeman — long-time actor and long considered one of the “good guys” in Hollywood — sexually harassed eight women, including a pregnant CNN reporter.
Now, however, Freeman is fighting back, demanding a retraction from CNN and an immediate apology from the women who accused him — even going so far as to say he has “proof” that he’s innocent of the allegations against him.
That’s according to the Daily Mail, who claim that, through his attorneys, Morgan Freeman is also threatening to file a lawsuit against the network if an apology and retraction isn’t forthcoming.
Freeman says that the comment that prompted Chloe Melas’ investigation into him wasn’t even directed towards her — rather, it was a comment he made during his press tour for the film Going In Style, which he directed at his co-star, Michael Caine.
What’s more, another alleged Freeman accuser, Tyra Martin, said that her on-air comments “were misrepresented” and that in no way, shape, or form did she deem his actions towards her “inappropriate” in any way.
However, even after Martin clarified her comments, they did not appear in the CNN report that accused the actor of sexual harassment.
CNN, for its part, stands by its story about Morgan Freeman, and — in a statement — said that it would “respond forcefully” to any attempts made by Freeman, or his attorney, to “intimidate them” into silence.
The original CNN report is below.
Freeman went on to say that Melas’ either misheard what he’d said, or was so desperate for a story to latch on to in order to “advance” her career that she was willing to accuse anyone of sexual harassment.
He then inferred but did not directly imply, that Melas’ motivation for “exposing” Freeman was racial in nature, because he questioned — through his attorney — whether Melas would have been so quick to indict Michael Caine or Alan Arkin (his co-stars on the film) if they’d said the same thing Freeman had said. He went on to say that Melas’ claims of sexual harassment against Lori McCreary, who is the head of the Producer’s Guild of America, were outright false.
Finally, he concluded by saying that Melas construed his statement as a form of sexual harassment and “set out on a mission” to destroy him, even though he wasn’t even talking to her.
It should be interesting to see what Morgan Freeman has to say next about the matter, especially if CNN intends to stick to its story.