Morgan Freeman is fighting back after a initial report claimed that he sexually harassed several women. The report was initially issued by Chloe Melas, a CNN reporter. Melas shared that she was also sexually harassed by Morgan Freeman. Melas, along with An Phung, released a CNN report that caused a backlash against Freeman.
VISA suspended his campaign and the SAG Awards considered removing Freeman’s lifetime achievement award. His career appeared to be at jeopardy.
But after Melas released a video clip that she considered harassment on CNN’s “New Day” where she claims Freeman harassed her during a press junket. In the clip, Freeman’s co-star, Michael Caine spoke about meeting Melas and making an embarrassing statement. Freeman responded by saying, “I wish I was there.” For some reason, Melas viewed the comment as sexual. It appeared as if Freeman was speaking to Caine.
Freeman’s lawyer released a 10-page letter to CNN and Melas urging them to retract the story calling it “the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice.”
CNN stands by its report and in statement to USA Today wrote, “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.”