In an interaction caught on camera in 2015, CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas was interviewing actor Morgan Freeman during a press junket for his movie “Going in Style” when, in a crowded room that included his co-stars, he grabbed her hand, looked her up and down and commented regarding her pregnancy, “I wish I was there.” He also said she looked “ripe,” though this was not recorded.

These comments sparked a CNN investigation in which Freeman would become the latest Hollywood actor to be accused of sexual misconduct, including unwanted touching and sexual comments.

One former production assistant told CNN that Freeman subjected her “to unwanted touching and comments about her figure and clothing on a near-daily basis.” She said, “Freeman would rest his hand on her lower back or rub her lower back.” It was reported that he also frequently tried to lift her skirt.

Another former production staffer often dodged comments from Freeman about her body. “He did comment on our bodies,” she told CNN. “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.”

The behavior was consistent across movie sets, CNN writes, and within the offices of Revelations Entertainment, Freeman’s production company. In total, 16 people spoke to CNN, eight of them victims of harassment; the other eight had witnessed or heard about the harassment.

They didn’t report it until now because, as most said, “they feared for their jobs,” even though, as CNN notes, the incidents were not private and instead had “allegedly happened in public, in front of witnesses—even in front of cameras.”

Freeman released an apology, obtained by Variety, saying he was sorry and “anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy.”


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