Morgan Freeman has released a second statement after being accused of sexual harassment. The Oscar-winning actor, whom eight different women accused of inappropriate comments and/or touching, says he’s “devastated” that his entire life is “at risk of being undermined” and admits that he sometimes pays “light-hearted and humorous” compliments to women. That said, Freeman is also adamant that he “did not assault women.”
Here’s his full statement:
“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.
“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.
“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women–and men–feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way.
“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.”
Freeman apologized to “anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected” on Thursday. His accusers include entertainment journalists and production workers on his films, who provided accounts of their experiences to CNN.