Morgan Freeman was back to work four days after sexual harassment allegations were publicly brought against him.
The actor, 80, was spotted in Georgia on Monday heading to the set of The Poison Rose, in which he stars opposite John Travolta. Freeman was dressed in a pastel dress shirt and a pair of jeans as he kept a low profile with a blue hat.
Freeman’s outing was the first time he had been spotted in public since he was accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate comments and behavior by eight different women, according to an investigation from CNN that was released on May 24.
“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 said in a statement on Friday.
The Oscar winner’s alleged inappropriate behavior occurred on-set with female members of the production staff, with employees at Revelations Entertainment (the production company the 80-year-old started in 1996 with business partner Lori McCreary) — and with reporters.
After the investigation was made public, Freeman apologized in a statement: “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 apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”
One day after releasing an apology, the star issued another statement, saying “clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended.”
“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. 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 humor,” he said.
“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 a 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 apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally,” Freeman continued.
He concluded, “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.”
SOURCE: KAREN MIZOGUCHI