Morgan Freeman issued an apology Thursday after eight women accused the Academy Award-winning actor of inappropriate behavior.
"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would willingly offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," Freeman said in the statement. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."
CNN reported Thursday that eight women had come forward to levy allegations of harassment against Freeman. The news network spoke with 16 people about Freeman's alleged misconduct, which reportedly took place in public while Freeman was on production sets or promotional tours. At least one incident happened in front of Lori McCreary, the woman who in 1996 co-founded production company Revelations Entertainment with Freeman, CNN reported.
A majority of Freeman's accusers said he "repeatedly (behaved) in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work." Two women told CNN that Freeman "subjected them to unwanted touching." None of the incidents were reported because the women feared for their jobs, according to CNN.
A woman who worked in 2015 as a production assistant for the film "Going in Style," starring Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, told CNN that she was harassed for several months by Freeman. She said he tried multiple times to lift her skirt and asked whether she was wearing underwear. He stopped after Arkin made a comment about his behavior, the woman told CNN.
Another woman, who worked as a senior member of the production staff for "Now You See Me" in 2012, told CNN that Freeman sexually harassed her and her assistant, also a woman, with frequent comments about their bodies.
"We knew that if he was coming by ... not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that (were) fitted," she said.
CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas said she was also subject to Freeman's inappropriate comments. She said she was six months pregnant when the actor told her that she looked "ripe" during an interview at a press junket for "Going in Style." She said he took her hand to shake it and held it as he looked her up and down while telling her, "I wish I was there."
Cox Media Group