Legendary actor Morgan Freeman, who has been accused of sexual harassment by eight women, has said he did not create “unsafe work environment” and he did not “assault women”. Through his publicist Stan Rosenfield, Freeman came out with a statement on Friday, reported variety.com.
The statement read: “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 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. 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.”
The Oscar winning actor said that he was not always coming across the way he intended. “And that is why I apologised on Thursday and will continue to apologise to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally,” he added.
“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,” Morgan concluded.
A CNN report has quoted multiple women, including journalists, describing troubling incidents throughout the 80-year-old actor’s career that spans nearly five decades.
Following the allegations, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is in the process of determining if any action will be necessary regarding its lifetime achievement award recipient.