Last week, CNN released a report that accused Morgan Freeman sexually harassing eight women. 16 people were interviewed in total, with eight women claiming that Freeman harassed them with inappropriate comments or unwanted touching, and the other eight people corroborating the story as witnesses. The story was heartbreaking, as no one expected one the most respected actors in Hollywood to be a sexual predator. Since the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements came through and uprooted the dominance sexual predators in the industry, it seems like no one can be counted out as a suspect.
According to Variety, Robert M. Schwartz, an attorney for Freeman, is demanding that CNN apologize for their article. Schwartz has also asked the news site to retract the story. The attorney claims that one the article’s authors, Chloe Melas, “baited and prodded” witnesses and victims to speak out against Freeman. Schwartz maintains that Melas had an experience with Freeman, where she feels that his comments were inappropriate, and used a grudge as an incentive to write the article.
“The problem with Ms. Melas’ account, which infected everything that she and CNN thereafter did, is that her version the interview is false,” Schwartz wrote in a statement. “It is based on her imagining that Mr. Freeman had said or done anything to harass her. However, there is substantial evidence that Ms. Melas imagined an incident, or exaggerated a non-malicious remark wildly out proportion to reality, to give her a basis to go after Mr. Freeman and cause him the grave harm that CNN’s story has inflicted.” Schwarts also states that Chicago WGN-TV’s Tyra Martin, who is cited in the article as one Freeman’s victims, says that CNN misrepresented her statements.
“At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologize to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level attention, that it used to unjustly attack him on May 24,” Schwartz continued in his statement.