[guest post by Dana]
Hoo boy, the flood gates have opened:
Veteran journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, according to five women who shared their previously undisclosed accounts with CNN and others who did not experience the alleged harassment personally, but were aware of it.
While no potted plants were reportedly involved, the MSNBC and NBC analyst’s disgusting actions were, nonetheless, most unwanted:
The stories of harassment shared with CNN range in nature from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will. Three of the women who spoke to CNN described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed. Halperin denies grabbing a woman’s breasts and pressing his genitals against the three women.
Here is a rundown of complaints against him:
The first woman told CNN she was invited to visit his office in the early 2000s, when he was political director at ABC News, to have a soda, and said that while she was there with him he forcibly kissed her and pressed his genitals against her body.
“I went up to have a soda and talk and — he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” the woman said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”
From the second woman:
“The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office and he just came up from behind — I was sitting in a chair from across his desk — and he came up behind me and [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” this woman told CNN. “I was obviously completely shocked. I can’t even remember how I got out of there — [but] I got out of there and was freaked out by that whole experience. Given I was so young and new I wasn’t sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news.”
She claims he continued to “express a sexual desire for her in subsequent visits”.
From the third woman:
“I excused myself to go to the bathroom and he was standing there when I opened the door propositioning [me] to go into the other bathroom to do something,” she said. “It freaked me out. I came out of the ladies’ room and he was just standing there. Like almost blocking the door.”
A fourth woman claims that he asked her up to his hotel room. An offer she declined.
And from the fifth woman making a complaint against Halperin:
The fifth woman who spoke to CNN was not an ABC News employee at the time of the incident she alleges. She was not comfortable sharing specifics of her story for publication, but said Halperin, while clothed, placed his erect penis against her body without consent.
Not surprisingly, the women did not report Halperin to management because they were embarrassed, as well as fearful of retaliation given his position and power.
MSNBC announced that Halperin was “leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”
Here is the statement Halerpin released:
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN Wednesday night. “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.”
How very woke of him. (Because who knew grabbing a woman’s boobs or pressing one’s erect penis against the backside of a woman when not invited to do so is inappropriate…)
Anyway, already another woman , who was with ABC at the time, has come forward as well. It wouldn’t be surprising if there were more.
Via Beckett Adams:
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)