Morgan Freeman demands retraction and apology from CNN for sexual harassment story
UPI News Service, 05/30/2018
Morgan Freeman has demanded a retraction and apology from CNN on Tuesday after the network published a story with several allegations of sexual harassment against the actor.
Morgan Freeman's attorney, Robert Schwartz, told Vanity Fair that he sent a 10-page letter to CNN that provides the network with "objective evidence, including videotapes and on-the-record denials by the claimed 'victims,' that the alleged incident that gave rise to the story never happened."
"And in choosing to ignore all of the evidence that we presented, CNN has confirmed our concerns about its reporters, its lack of oversight, and its gross misconduct in unjustifiably attacking Mr. Freeman," the statement continued.
The CNN story was co-written by reporter Chloe Melas, who claimed Freeman made an inappropriate comment that was sexual in nature when she was covering a press junket for the film, "Going in Style."
Melas' story includes the incident and says it was what inspired her to find other women who may have been victimized by the actor.
Schwartz goes on to say that Melas had an agenda against Freeman and "lacked the requisite impartiality and objectivity to fairly cover the story she was chasing."
"Under those circumstances, CNN should not have allowed her to write it," Schwartz said.
Schwartz's letter pointed out that one of the alleged victims, Tyra Martin, an entertainment reporter in Chicago who has interviewed Freeman several times, said she "never was" a victim.
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"CNN totally misrepresented the video and took my remarks out of context," she told TMZ.
CNN defended its reporting and blasted Schwartz.
"The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman's lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman's own public statements in the aftermath of the story," the network said.
"CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue."
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