After multiple women came forward to accuse veteran journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment, Halperin has responded.
According to the Huffington Post, five women recently came forward to tell CNN's Oliver Darcy that Halperin had propositioned employees while in a powerful position at ABC News. 52-year-old Halperin, who co-wrote the bestselling book Game Change about the 2008 election and has held high-level positions at multiple news outlets including, most recently, NBC News and MSNBC, allegedly made unwanted sexual advances, including "pressing his genitals" against three women, with one woman saying he "just kissed me and grabbed my boobs" after being invited into his office in the early 2000s.
Other women have accused Halperin of sexual misconduct, including journalist Emily Miller, who took to Twitter with #MeToo, and to confirm she was not one of the original five women accusing Halperin:
Go back and watch the episode I was on of Morning Joe. This will explain why so many of you asked why he attacked me on live TV— Emily Miller (@Emily Miller) 1508992380.0
I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him.— Emily Miller (@Emily Miller) 1509025865.0
Here is the episode Miller talks about in her tweet:
The women who worked at ABC News with Halperin claim they didn't report Halperin over fears of retribution, and ABC News confirmed that "Mark left ABC News over a decade ago, and no complaints were filed during his tenure."
In response to the allegations, Halperin issued a statement to CNN Wednesday night, saying: "During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize."
"Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation," he added.
NBC agreed, saying: "Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood."
The report was mentioned on both NBC's Today as well as MSNBC's Morning Joe, with host Mika Brzezinski saying: "CNN is reporting allegations regarding our friend Mark Halperin over a decade ago, unnamed sources detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior. Halperin apologized for the pain his actions caused... we will be following this story as it develops. I’m sure we will be talking about it again when we know more about it."
In addition to being dropped from NBC's networks, Halperin's other projects have seen a backlash as well.
HBO, which produced the 2008 made-for-tv movie version of Game Change starring Julianne Moore, was set to turn Halperin's upcoming third installment of the Game Change series, about to 2016 election, into a mini-series. But after the allegations, both Penguin Press and HBO backed out of their deals.
BREAK: PENGUIN CANCELS PLANS TO PUBLISH MARK HALPERIN'S BOOK ON 2016 ELECTION https://t.co/ABPhaP21rz— Oliver Darcy (@Oliver Darcy) 1509056973.0
Halperin joins a long list of celebrities and news personalities who have recently been accused of sexual harassment, and Twitter is disgusted:
Wtf with these male tv newscasters? Is this what happens when you start thinking of yourself as a 'celebrity'?… https://t.co/rs1HhNc734— Mike Marler (@Mike Marler) 1509037790.0
@brianstelter O'Reilly, Weinstein, Besh, Halperin outed and disgraced for sexual misconduct and predatory behavior.… https://t.co/B5m14KY3GF— Mike Bailey (@Mike Bailey) 1509033501.0
It's clearly an issue that affects both sides of the aisle:
Being a disgusting pig is not limited to just one political party: Mark Halperin Out at MSNBC. https://t.co/KwgLXN9VLA— mike koehl (@mike koehl) 1509036711.0
*Halperin sexually assaults women Left: "not all liberals are like that" *O'Reilly critisizes a woman's dress Left: OMG ALL CONS SEXIST!— Mike Joseph Jr. (@Mike Joseph Jr.) 1509036685.0
Although perhaps Halperin isn't quite as liberal as many think:
Disturbed man 2011: "Mark Halperin Suspended From MSNBC for Using Crude Slur Against President Barack Obama"… https://t.co/mejNZn21RY— Mike Oakenshield (@Mike Oakenshield) 1509025318.0
@mike_Zollo Halperin's not liberal. A Trump fan, he practices what he admires -- sexual predation. So at least he's not hypocritical.— Bo Gardiner (@Bo Gardiner) 1509021356.0
So Liberals are happy over the Mark Halperin news b/c they feel he's a right winger who was unfair to HRC and he ca… https://t.co/5GpXpj5cq5— Make The Gorilla Channel Great Again! (@Make The Gorilla Channel Great Again!) 1509020928.0
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H/T: Huffington Post, CNN, Twitter