Morgan Freeman released a new statement Friday, denying that he assaulted any women.
His new statement comes days after CNN had reported that eight women said Freeman created an uncomfortable work environment with frequent sexual comments and unwanted touching.
“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 actor said in the latest statement. “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.”
Freeman admitted that it is in his character to try to make everyone around him feel at ease, actions that could have come off the wrong to some women.
“But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments,” he added. “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.”
In addition, SAG-AFTRA has announced that it will be reviewing the sexual harassment allegations against Morgan Freeman — who was awarded the organization’s Life Achievement Award earlier this year.
“These are compelling and devastating allegations which are absolutely contrary to all the steps that we are taking to ensure a safe work environment for the professionals in this industry,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said. “Any accused person has the right to due process, but it is our starting point to believe the courageous voices who come forward to report incidents of harassment. Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union’s most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time.”
Freeman initially released a brief apology on Thursday, apologizing for anyone that he hurt.
“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.”