New harassment claims against ‘Game Change’ journalist
Los Angeles — CNN reported Friday that four more women have leveled allegations of sexual harassment against journalist Mark Halperin.
The news channel said that one woman claimed Halperin masturbated in her presence after she went to his ABC News office to seek advice from him about her career at the news division, where she was a desk assistant.
CNN said a second woman alleged that the “Game Change” co-author threw her against a restaurant window and threatened to derail her career after she rebuffed his attempt to kiss her.
The woman, who told CNN she met Halperin when she was interning at the White House, said he called her shortly after the encounter and warned that she’d never be hired in media or politics.
The four women, who were not identified in the CNN report, said the encounters took place between the late 1980s and 2006, during which time Halperin worked at ABC News in influential positions including political director.
CNN said that Halperin denied that he masturbated in front of anyone or physically assaulted or threatened anyone.
The two other women included in CNN’s report: One who worked as a desk assistant at ABC News and who claimed Halperin forced her into a kiss, and an intern who said he squeezed into a small footage-reviewing booth with her and became visibly aroused.
The latest allegations bring the number of women accusing him of sexual misconduct to about 12.
Halperin issued a lengthy apology on Twitter, saying he was “profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I mistreated.”
“The world is now publicly acknowledging what so many women have long known: Men harm women in the workplace. That new awareness is, of course, a positive development. For a long time at ABC News, I was part of the problem. I acknowledge that, and I deeply regret it,” he said in the post.
But counseling he sought after leaving the network changed his behavior, he said.
“Those who have worked with me in the past decade know that my conduct in subsequent jobs at TIME, Bloomberg, NBC News, and Showtime has not been what it was at ABC. I did not engage in improper behavior with colleagues or subordinates,” Halperin said.
The journalist has been suspended from his role as a MSNBC contributor, while a follow-up to 2010’s “Game Change” was canceled by Penguin Press and HBO dropped plans for a miniseries based on the book about the 2016 election.