The latest target of the "#MeToo" movement, Freeman is said to have touched and groped various female co-workers while on set and at award shows, new reports claim. In multiple instances, Freeman allegedly touched women on their lower backs, attempted to lift up their skirts, and even made crude comments about their bodies while the cameras were rolling.
CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas is one of these alleged victims who claims that she was subjected to "inappropriate behavior" by Freeman more than a year ago. While interviewing Freeman at a press junket for his film Going in Style, Melas says Freeman shook her hand and wouldn't let go, and said to her "I wish I was there" – presumably referring to the fact that she was six months pregnant at the time.
Melas also says that Freeman commented, "You are ripe," though this alleged statement was not captured on camera. When Melas reported the incident to her supervisor, she was instructed to contact CNN's human resources department. But nothing was done, as HR said it could not corroborate Melas' story because only one of Freeman's alleged comments was captured on tape.
Consequently, it was decided that Melas would not be covering Freeman's film. A spokesperson for Warner Bros., which is owned by Time Warner just like CNN, later admitted that what Melas had claimed was accurate, but declined to comment any further on the matter.
When CNN reached out to Freeman's spokesperson for comment, the network was apparently asked to send in a detailed list of the accusation. While a direct response was never given, Freeman later released a statement of his own that basically denied any wrongdoing on his part concerning his treatment of women.
"Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected – that was never my intent," Freeman stated.
But this isn't enough for his many accusers, including women who work for his "Revelations Entertainment" media company. While branded as a progressive and artistic company, female employees claim that it's a "toxic" environment. Six former staffers, in fact, say that they directly witnessed Freeman behaving in inappropriate ways toward women.
Unsolicited touching and sexual comments are among the many infractions that these women say Freeman is guilty of, though again, the actor denies this. One woman says that Freeman asked her jokingly, "How do you feel about sexual harassment?" while he "looked [her] up and down."
"I was stunned," this former employee told CNN.
"This is the person that I worked for, this is his company, I didn't expect it at all ... I said timidly, 'I love it' in a sarcastic way hoping to make light of the situation because I was so confused and then he turned to the guys on the crew ... and said, 'See guys, this is how you do it.'"
Other former employees at Revelations say that Freeman would often just stand there staring at them awkwardly, or looking at their breasts or other body parts. And more often than not, other employees would just laugh or shrug it off as just another day in "the 'biz."
For more news on the dirty underbelly of Hollywood, check out CelebrityReputation.com.
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