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Michael Douglas Preemptively Denies Sexual Harassment Allegation He Knows Is Coming

"I had the choice of waiting for a story to come out...or try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns," Douglas said.

Michael Douglas arrives at the world premiere of "Flatliners" at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, in Los AngelesWorld Premiere of "Flatliners", Los Angeles, USA - 27 Sep 2017

Michael Douglas

Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Michael Douglas has given an exclusive interview to Deadline where he preemptively denies a sexual harassment allegation he says is coming in the future. Douglas received a message from his attorney that The Hollywood Reporter was interested in a story involving one of the actor’s former employees who alleges Douglas sexually harassed her approximately 32 years ago. The woman alleges Douglas “spoke raunchily” to her and to his friends when she was around. She also claims Douglas masturbated in front of her.

“I had the choice of waiting for a story to come out, one that will clearly get picked up by other newspapers and magazines, and then I have to sit there and try to defend myself. Or, try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns,” Douglas said about coming forward before the allegations were made publicly. “Again, I am sorry if I used coarse language with my friends. But this is really debilitating. It can have a large effect on my career.”

Douglas told Deadline that he “does not know where to begin” in regards to the allegation that he masturbated in front of his former employee. The actor said this accusation is a “complete lie” and that there is “no truth to it whatsoever.” The actor heard the woman was “running around, possibly trying to give this story to other people” such as Variety. The woman reportedly has “three friends who would back her up, that she had mentioned this to.”

The actor went on to mention that he has always been supportive of women through his career, noting that his mother was an actress and that he himself married an actress and has been supportive of the anti-harassment movement “through all [his] years.” Douglas noted that he has had up to 20 female executives work at his company and said that he has partnered with 20 female producers on movies over the years.

“How am I, in a 50 year career in this industry, dealing with an employee 33 years ago who perhaps is disgruntled that I let her go, even though I have never heard from her in 32 years,” he said.

“I’d confess to anything I thought I was responsible for,” Douglas continued. “And it was most certainly not masturbating in front of this woman. This reeks. I would have respected if she had reached out to me any time over these years, to share her pain or concerns and I would have been the first one to respond. But this, going directly to the newspapers or whatever you want to call them, it just reeks of something else. I’m upset.”

Douglas mentioned that he is “fearful” the allegations could derail his future in Hollywood and the several projects he has in development.

“I wonder if people realize when you do something like this, it hurts a lot more than just one person,” he said.

Head over to Deadline to read Douglas’ full interview.

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