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Eight people have accused actor Morgan Freeman, 80, of sexual harassment or misconduct, and eight others said they witnessed him exhibiting inappropriate behavior, according to a report published Thursday by CNN.
In the allegations, Freeman is accused of being fixated on women’s dress and making comments about the physical appearances of people he met on set, journalists, and employees of his company Revelations Entertainment.
One woman, who worked with Freeman on his 2015 film Going in Style, said he touched her without permission and made comments about her figure or clothing almost daily. Per CNN:
Freeman would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back, she said.
In one incident, she said, Freeman “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.” He never successfully lifted her skirt, she said—he would touch it and try to lift it, she would move away, and then he’d try again. Eventually, she said, “Alan [Arkin] made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn’t know what to say.”
Another woman who worked on 2012 film Now You See Me said she and others avoided wearing revealing or “fitted” clothing in Morgan’s presence because “he did comment on our bodies.”
CNN’s report details numerous other accounts of harassment, including inappropriate comments he made to CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas, who was pregnant when he commented to her “boy, do I wish I was there” on camera.
Freeman did not confirm or deny the allegations but issued a statement of apology Thursday following the article.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” he said. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected—that was never my intent.”
Kris Seavers is the IRL editor for the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.