Iconic actor, Morgan Freeman, defended his allegedly perverse behaviour and creepy comments in a second statement, saying the acts were meant to be “light-hearted and humorous.”
“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women — and men — feel appreciated and at ease around me,” the 80-year-old, who’s accused of sexual harassment by eight women, wrote in the statement released Friday night. “As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women.”
The “Shawshank Redemption” star continued to simultaneously apologize for and defend his behavior.
“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them,” he wrote in the statement. “But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.”
Freeman added, “Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended. And that is why I apologized Thursday and will continue to apologize to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally.”
“But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. 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,” he continued.
The Oscar winner added that he is “devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports.”
Freeman’s statement was released just after a 2016 video of the “Shawshank Redemption” star making a tone-deaf pass at “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Ashley Crossan surfaced Friday.