CNN is sticking to their guns, issuing a statement in response to Morgan Freeman's request to retract a recent report where several women accused the Oscar-winner of various levels of sexual misconduct.
The CNN story originated with an incident involving author/TV entertainment reporter Chloe Melas, the only accuser who didn't claim anonymity. Melas said Freeman harassed her at a press junket, which is what prompted the investigation.
Freeman's lawyers refute her version of the events, stating that a recording of the interaction reveals only that Freeman said "I wish I was there", and that this comment was in reference to his Dark Knight Trilogy co-star Michael Caine telling a story about once mistakenly congratulating a woman for being pregnant when she wasn't.
"I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women-and men-feel appreciated and at ease around me", Freeman said in a statement released by his publicist Stan Rosenfield.More news: Serena Williams makes victorious return to Roland Garros
Freeman issued an additional statement on Friday evening.
The actor has denied ever sexually assaulting any woman. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex, ' he added. "Any suggestion that I did so is completely false".
Freeman's lawyer is now seeking a retraction from editors, insisting the article has "inflicted serious injury" on the actor.More news: The euro is sliding amid political uncertainty in Italy
According to TMZ, Freeman's attorneys have called the recent expose "the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice".
"The unfounded accusations made by Mr. Freeman's lawyer are disappointing and are hard to reconcile with Mr. Freeman's own public statements in the aftermath of the story", a statement reads. After CNN published its report, Maggie Parker, a contributor to People magazine, wrote a first-person piece that said when she asked Mr. Freeman during a 2013 interview, "If you could do one magic trick, what would it be?" he responded, "You wouldn't have a stitch on", suggesting he wanted to see her naked.
"Thus, no reader of the article can have any confidence that any of the anonymous sources, which make up the balance of CNN's article, can be relied upon at all", wrote Schwartz.
The attorney wrote that CNN reporter Chloe Melas, who cowrote the report and accused Freeman of making inappropriate comments about her appearance at a press junket past year, had "no reasonable basis" to interpret what Freeman said to her as harassment. Mela was six months pregnant at the time. She said he was also "looking me up and down". Melas said she was also told that Warner Bros.More news: Israel hits dozens of Gaza targets after mortar barrage
There has been no comment as of yet from CNN on the matter. The company allegedly did not have a formal human resources department at the time. "You got a dress halfway between your knee and your hips, and you sit down right across from me and you cross your legs".