Morgan Freeman demands retraction and apology for 'scandal-mongering hit piece' alleging sexual harassment
A law firm representing actor Morgan Freeman demanded an apology from CNN over a report that included accounts from eight women who said Freeman sexually harassed them.
Freeman's legal team penned a letter asking that CNN immediately retract the article and issue an apology for the "sloppy and malicious" report. The letter additionally sought to disprove several of the allegations, and claimed that the story amounted to defamation, The Hollywood Reporter writes.
CNN published a lengthy report last week that alleged that Freeman ogled women, tried to lift their skirts, inappropriately touched colleagues, and made suggestive comments about their clothes and bodies. Freeman previously denied the allegations, saying he would never "intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy." He later issued a stronger denial and denounced the article, saying his career was "at risk of being undermined" by baseless claims.
The actor ratcheted up his defense against the "scandal-mongering hit piece" on Tuesday, zeroing in on one of the authors of the report, Chloe Melas. Melas alleged that Freeman had made an inappropriate comment toward her during an interview, but Freeman's lawyer said she had "no reasonable basis" to interpret his comment as harassment. The letter claims that since Melas herself had alleged misconduct, her objectivity in reporting the rest of the story was tainted. Freeman's lawyer demanded that CNN withdraw the story "with the same level of attention that it used to unjustly attack him." Read more at The Hollywood Reporter. Summer Meza
Update 1:16 p.m. ET: A CNN spokesperson has responded to the letter from Freeman's attorney, writing: "The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman's lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman's own public statements in the aftermath of the story. CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue."