Morgan Freeman issues statement following sexual harassment allegations
Hollywood star Morgan Freeman has apologised to "anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected" after he faced accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour last night.
The Oscar-winning actor, 80, was accused of repeatedly behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable on film sets and at his production company Revelations Entertainment, in an investigation by CNN.
In a statement issued after the allegations were made public, Freeman said:
"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy.
"I apologise to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected - that was never my intent."
CNN spoke to 16 people who described a pattern of behaviour, including a production assistant on the film Going In Style who alleged he repeatedly attempted to lift her skirt.
He was also accused of making comments about women's clothing or bodies, with some alleged incidents taking place in front of witnesses and even on camera, the report claims.
The US news outlet said they had spoken to three entertainment reporters who said Freeman made inappropriate remarks during interviews including CNN reporter Chloe Melas, who was pregnant at the time and co-wrote the investigation.
She alleged he shook her hand and repeatedly looked her up and down and said "I wish I was there" and "You are ripe" less than a year ago.
Freeman founded Revelations Entertainment in 1996 with Lori McCreary, the current president of the Producers Guild Association who has championed the MeToo and Time's Up movements.