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Prominent US journalist Mark Helperin apologises after sex claims

The co-author of the best-selling book Game Change said that he is “deeply sorry” and is taking a “step back” from day-to-day work to deal with the allegations.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2017 16:33 IST
Agencies, New York
sexual harassment,ABC News,Mark Halperin
File photo of veteran US journalist Mark Halperin.(Reuters)

Veteran US journalist Mark Halperin is apologising for what he terms “inappropriate” behaviour after five women claimed he sexually harassed them while he was a top ABC News executive.

The co-author of the best-selling book Game Change told CNN on Wednesday night that he is “deeply sorry” and is taking a “step back” from day-to-day work to deal with the situation. He’s currently an analyst for NBC News.

His statement came after CNN reported allegations that Halperin propositioned, fondled and pushed himself against five women in the early 2000s while he was ABC News’ political director.

The women, who asked to remain anonymous, said they didn’t report Halperin’s conduct because they feared retribution or were embarrassed.

Halperin, 52, says he pursued relationships, sometimes with junior co-workers, but CNN says he denies the groping allegations.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN.

“I now understand from these accounts that my behaviour was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologise. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

The women who spoke to CNN were quoted as saying that Halperin had “a dark side not made public until now”. The stories of harassment shared with CNN ranged in nature from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will.

CNN reported its investigation found Halperin allegedly exhibited this type of behaviour from the 1990s to the mid-2000s. CNN has not learned of any incidents after Halperin left ABC News.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 16:33 IST