Actor Morgan Freeman says the sexual assault claims being made against him are designed to “damage his reputation” following his public show of support for Donald Trump.
In what appears to be a well coordinated smear campaign, Morgan Freeman has been accused of making “sexually inappropriate comments” to eight different women.
Last year, Morgan Freeman lashed out at Hillary Clinton, urging Trump to “send Hillary to prison” in order to restore public faith in government institutions.
“Hillary should be in jail for her unlawful deeds and President Trump should absolutely, absolutely make sure this happens to send the very strong message that no-one, and I mean no-one, is above the law in the United States of America,” Morgan Freeman said in an interview.
Hitting back at those accusing him of sexual assault, Freeman claims the conversations he had with the eight women were deliberately taken out of context and were meant to be “light-hearted and humorous.”
Pagesix.com reports: “I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women — and men — feel appreciated and at ease around me,” the 80-year-old, who’s accused of sexual harassment by eight women, wrote in the statement released Friday night. “As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women.”
The “Shawshank Redemption” star continued to simultaneously apologize for and defend his behavior.
“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them,” he wrote in the statement. “But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.”
Freeman added, “Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally.”
“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,” he continued.
The Oscar winner added that he is “devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.”
Freeman’s statement was released just after a 2016 video of the “Shawshank Redemption” star making a tone-deaf pass at “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Ashley Crossan surfaced Friday.
In the clip released by ET, the actor asks Crossman if she would “fool around with older guys? I’m just asking.”
On Thursday, CNN published an exposé in which several women came forward to accuse the actor of sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching and lifting up women’s skirts.