May 24 (UPI) — Morgan Freeman was accused of sexual harassment by eight women Thursday as part of a special report by CNN that also mentions eight others who witnessed the actor taking part in inappropriate behavior.
The report said Freeman harassed women and made sexual remarks on the set of his films, inside the office of his production company Revelations Entertainment and at press junkets while speaking with female journalists.
Freeman has responded to the allegations with an apology statement.
“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,” he said.
A young production assistant, who chose to remain anonymous, told CNN that Freeman would inappropriately touch her and make comments about her figure and clothing throughout the making of the 2015 comedy Going In Style, which also starred Alan Arkin and Michael Caine.
She said the 80-year-old kept trying to lift up her skirt and asked her if she was wearing underwear.
“Alan made a comment telling him to stop,” she said. “Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”
Chloe Melas, a CNN entertainment reporter who co-wrote the piece with An Phung, launched the investigation into Freeman’s sexual misconduct after she says she was harassed by Freeman at a press junket for Going in Style.
Melas said that she was six months pregnant when she was interviewing the actor and he told her he wished he was there. The comment was caught on camera.
She said Freeman also told her, “You are ripe.”
A former executive who worked at Revelations Entertainment told CNN that for Freeman’s 79th birthday he had a party where his 30 guests stood in a circle.
The former executive says Freeman then approached every woman in the circle, get real close, and checked them out while looking them up and down without saying anything.
“It was really weird and he did it to every woman but of course he didn’t do it to any of the men. He didn’t speak to any of the men,” the source said.