Los Angeles, May 24 (EFE).- Eight women in the film industry on Thursday accused US actor Morgan Freeman of improper behavior, according to a media report.
“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” said the 80-year-old and highly popular actor in a statement. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected – that was never my intent.”
Among the cases cited by CNN, which broke the story, is one of a young production assistant who in the summer of 2015 began working on the bank heist comedy
“Going In Style,” starring Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, but – she said – the job of her dreams turned into several months of harassment by the actor.
In her testimony, the woman accused Freeman of unwanted touching and making comments on her figure and her clothing. In one of those situations, Freeman allegedly tried to lift her dress on several occasions while asking her if she was wearing underwear.
Arkin asked Freeman to stop, whereupon the actor evidently did not know how to respond, the woman said.
What happened led the young woman to quit working in the film industry, she said.
The woman also said that Freeman constantly made comments about her appearance, which often led her to go home in tears.
Another woman said that Freeman sexually harassed her and her assistant on the set of the film “Now You See Me” by making numerous comments about their bodies.
“We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that (were) fitted,” she said.
Even three entertainment reporters said they had been subjected to inappropriate comments by the actor during so-called “junkets,” days of media publicity work prior to the release of a film.
In all, eight women have said Freeman’s conduct constituted sexual harassment or, at least, unwanted behavior.
At least four people who have worked on production tasks for Freeman’s films over the past decade said that he “repeatedly” engaged in improper behavior to the point that it made many women feel uncomfortable.
The eight women say that they never made public their complaints at the time the alleged behavior occurred for fear of losing their jobs.