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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

Morgan Freeman accused of sexual harassment by 8 women

Morgan Freeman is the latest in the long list of Hollywood big names to be accused of sexual harassment.

hollywood Updated: May 24, 2018 21:36 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Morgan Freeman has been accused by eight women of sexual harassment whose claims have been supported by eight more people.
Morgan Freeman has been accused by eight women of sexual harassment whose claims have been supported by eight more people.(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

One of Hollywood’s most admired actors, Morgan Freeman, has been accused of inappropriate behaviour and harassment by eight women, CNN reported on Thursday.

Eight other people described a pattern of disturbing behaviour by Freeman, according to the report. None of the victims reported Freeman’s behaviour for the fear of losing their jobs.

One of the accusers, a production assistant who worked with Freeman in 2015 on the movie Going In Style, told CNN that she suffered through several months of harassment at his hand. She said he ‘kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear.’ He was eventually stopped by a comment from another veteran actor, Alan Arkin, she told CNN.

Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me.
Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me.

A production staff member and her assistant, who worked with Freeman on 2012’s Now You See Me, said they would refrain from wearing shirts and dresses that would show their body more than usual so as to not be subjected to comments from him. “He did comment on our 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,” one of the women said.

Three of the victims, according to the report, are entertainment reporters that Freeman misbehaved with at press junkets. One of them is CNN’s entertainment reporter Chloe Melas who was six months pregnant when Freeman made rude comments to her at an event for Going In Style. She says he would not let go of her hand, looked her up and down and said “I wish I was there” and “you are ripe.” The entire incident was caught on camera.

The incident made Melas investigate further and talk to more people about Freeman’s behaviour for the report.

CNN reached out to Freeman’s spokesperson but he didn’t respond.

Freeman is the latest in the long list of stars accused of sexual harassment since October 2017 in the wake of the #MeToo and Times Up movements that have put the spotlight on working conditions and gender bias in Hollywood. The movements gained momentum after producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of harassment by Ashley Judd, Rose Mc Gowan, Asia Argento, Angelina Jolie and others of inappropriate behaviour and in some cases, rape. Consequently, as many as 70 women accused the producer, who resigned from his post at Miramax, of sexual harassment. More allegations were made against Kevin Spacey, James Franco, Louis CK and several other men in Hollywood.

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