Morgan Freeman. Photo: Internet
In a new statement on harassment allegations, Hollywood veteran Morgan Freeman claimed he "did not assault women" nor "create unsafe work environments."
The 80-year-old, on Friday (local time), said he is "devastated" that "80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye" by news reports of misconduct published on Thursday.
"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 humour. I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women-and men-feel appreciated and at ease around me," reads the statement, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
"As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologised Thursday and will continue to apologise to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally. But I also want to be clear: 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."
The God of 'Bruce Almighty' landed himself in the soup when CNN reported on his inappropriate behaviour towards the female members of his films' crew and backstage attendants for his film's promotional events.
With these allegations, Freeman has joined the bandwagon of well-known celebrity figures that have been accused of sexual misconduct.
The names include Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, James Franco, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, and Woody Allen.