I am devastated: Morgan Freeman strenuously refutes assault allegations but apologizes for 'misplaced compliments'
Altogether, 16 people are believed to have spoken to CNN about the harassment and at least eight claim to have personally experienced sexual misconduct.
After being accused of sexually inappropriate behavior and misconduct at the workplace, Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman has attempted to clarify his part of the story with a second official statement, refuting any allegation of "assault" or exchange of sexual favors in the process.
In the wordy and more detailed second statement, received by Meaww through his publicist, though, the actor further went to suggest that his light-hearted and humorous demeanor was misread and that it won't be right to equate "horrific" assault incidents with "misplaced compliments".
Read the full apology below:
“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.
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 humor.
I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women—and men—feel appreciated and at ease around me. 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 apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize 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.”
Earlier, in an explosive report by CNN, eight women had alleged that the 80-year-old actor, best known for movies such as 'The Shawshank Redemption' and 'Bruce Almighty', had either sexually harassed or misbehaved with them.
A young victim, who even reportedly worked with the star on his 2015 comedy 'Going In Style', claimed that at one point Freeman "kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear."
Altogether, 16 people are believed to have spoken to the publication, at least eight claim to have personally experienced sexual misconduct while the other eight claimed that they have witnessed it.