Morgan Freeman demands CNN retract 'malicious' sexual harassment report
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Morgan Freeman is demanding that CNN retract the story it published last week bringing to light accusations of harassment and inappropriate behavior against the actor. 

Eight women in the CNN story alleged the actor inappropriately touched them and made suggestive comments about their appearance. Eight others told the outlet that they witnessed Freeman’s alleged inappropriate behavior. 

In a letter obtained by BuzzFeed and The Hollywood Reporter, the law firm representing Freeman, Irell & Manella LLP, is demanding an immediate retraction of the story and an apology.

"Given that Mr. Freeman is a world-renowned actor, and that the article sought to associate him with Hollywood actors and executives who have used their positions to trade sex for career advancement, it will come as no surprise to you that CNN’s article attracted explosive attention in newspapers and websites throughout the world," the letter stated. "But no one who read CNN’s article about Mr. Freeman was told that it was the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice." 

The letter details four specific objections to CNN's story, including the fact that one woman named in the article told TMZ she never accused Freeman of harassment and that the CNN story took her out of context.

Most of the other women in the CNN article were anonymous, including one woman who told CNN that the actor rubbed her lower back and tried lifting up her skirt while working on the movie set for “Going In Style.” 

CNN reporter Chloe Melas, who co-authored the exposé, also alleged that Freeman made inappropriate comments to her about her pregnancy when she was covering the release of the movie. 


 "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," a CNN spokesperson told The Hill. "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."

Freeman sent CNN a statement after the initial report was published.

"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," the actor said. "I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent." 

The next day, Freeman issued a follow-up statement, adding that while all victims of harassment deserve to be heard, it is wrong to equate "misplaced compliments or humor” with "horrific incidents of sexual assault.”

"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." 

The 80-year-old old actor added that he is devastated his life’s work "is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye," by the report.

-Updated 12:55 p.m.