Actor Morgan Freeman, in response to the allegations against him, demanded via his lawyer that CNN retract a story.
The 80-year-old “Shawshank Redemption” star’s lawyer, Robert M. Schwartz, addressed CNN president Jeff Zucker in the letter, saying that a report from the news outlet defamed and “inflicted serious injury” on his career and reputation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologize to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that it used to unjustly attack him on May 24,” the letter continued. “CNN also needs to retract the portions of the story that concern Lori McCreary and apologize to her for defaming and injuring her.”
His lawyer also told the Hollywood Reporter that there were inconsistencies in the report.
“The second person CNN identified, Tyra Martin, has gone on record twice since CNN published the article to state that CNN misrepresented what she said to CNN and that Mr. Freeman did not harass her,” the lawyer said. “The third person CNN identified, Lori McCreary, told CNN that Mr. Freeman never harassed her. And as to CNN’s gratuitous sideswipe at Ms. McCreary herself, yet another independent party investigated the claim when CNN raised it, and found it to be meritless.”
CNN responded to the letter.
“The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman’s lawyer are disappointing and are difficult to reconcile with Mr. Freeman’s own public statements in the aftermath of the story. CNN stands by its reporting and will respond forcefully to any attempt by Mr. Freeman or his representatives to intimidate us from covering this important public issue,” a CNN spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
A few days ago, the longtime actor issued a statement, saying he did not sexually assault anyone.
“All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard,” the statement read, according to the New York Times. “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,” he added, the newspaper reported. “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.”
“But I also want to be clear,” he added. “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.”
Why is Falun Gong persecuted?
Although it’s freely practiced in over 70 countries, doing this in China can lead to unlawful arrest, imprisonment, torture, or even death.