MORGAN Freeman has threatened to sue CNN and release a video which he claims proves he didn’t harass a pregnant reporter.
Freeman, 80, claims the video filmed by the US news channel shows his comments were directed at Michael Caine not entertainment reporter Chloe Melas who was six months pregnant at the time.
Reuters Morgan Freeman has demanded CNN to apologise to him and retract allegations that he sexually harassed women
Freeman demands CNN apologises to him and retract allegations he sexually harassed women.
In a 10-page legal letter addressed to CNN president Jeff Zucker his lawyer said the story had defamed and “inflicted serious injury” on Freeman’s reputation and career.
In the letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, lawyer Robert Schwartz wrote: “At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologise to Mr Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that it used to unjustly attack him on May 24.”
Discussing the video, Freemans legal team said, according to the Daily Mail: “It is correct that, during the interview, Mr Freeman said ‘I wish I was there’.
Twitter CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas claimed she was harassed by the actor during a junket interview when she was pregnant Morgan Freeman accused of sexual harassment by 8 women who say he tried to grope them and leered over them on set
“But Ms. Melas had no factual basis to have interpreted that as a statement about her, or as sexual harassment.
“The videotape makes clear that Mr Freeman was in fact responding to a story that Michael Caine had just told.”
Last week CNN reported that eight women accused Freeman of sexual harassment, unwanted touching and other inappropriate behaviour, including making suggestive comments about their bodies.
The network interviewed 16 people who said they were either subjected to the Hollywood star’s behaviour or witnessed the 80-year-old’s alleged misconduct.
Getty – Contributor Freeman’s lawyer said CNN’s story had defamed and ‘inflicted serious injury’ on his career
CNN reporter MS Melas, who co-wrote the story, was the only victim who spoke on record.
She alleged she was harassed by the actor during a junket interview when she was pregnant, claiming he said to her she was “ripe” and commented on her body.
Schwartz claimed Melas “baited and prodded” witnesses and victims to speak out against Freeman and was motivated by personal bias.
He described the story as having “malicious intent, falsehoods, sleight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice”.
The letter also demanded the network retract portions of the story for “defaming and injuring”.
Freeman’s producing partner Lori McCreary – who the article accused of fostering a “toxic” work environment with him at their company Revelations Entertainment.