Morgan Freeman has apologised a second time for sexually harassing women.
After responding to allegations made against him in a CNN expose this week, the 80-year-old issued a second statement overnight insisting any harm was unintentional.
“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports,” the statement read.
“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humour.
“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women—and men—feel appreciated and at ease around me. As part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way.
“Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologised Thursday and will continue to apologise to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally,” he continued.
“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.”
Hours after the CNN report was published, the Oscar winner 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.”
In the article, eight women allege harassment of a sexual nature at the hands of Freeman. One unnamed woman claims he “kept trying to lift up my skirt and asking if I was wearing underwear”.
Other allegations in the expose include inappropriate comments of a sexual nature and unwanted touching.