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Michael Douglas Fends Off Sexual Harassment Claim With Preemptive Interview

attends the 44th Chaplin Award Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2017 in New York City.

LOS ANGELES — Michael Douglas has denied what he says is a forthcoming claim of sexual harassment against him in a new interview with Hollywood trade publication Deadline.

The veteran actor says The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline’s competitor, is pursuing a story about him in which a former employee claims Douglas masturbated in front of her, used improper language in her company, and prevented her from getting other work in the entertainment industry.

Douglas denies the allegation of a sexual nature and the claim of retaliation. But, he added, “I will fess up to colorful language.”

“I felt the need to get ahead of this,” he told Deadline.

Douglas says his accuser is a woman who worked in development at his company approximately 32 years ago and was fired “for the work she was doing.”

CNN does not know the identity of the woman.

“She was a lady who was involved in development at my company, and we just didn’t have a good development record in the time she was there, so I just moved on,” he said. “I never blackballed her. If people from the industry called me to ask about her, I would have been honest, but I never blackballed her.”

When contacted by CNN, a representative for Douglas had no additional comment at this time.

Douglas said he was approached by The Hollywood Reporter about its investigation in December, prior to the holidays.

CNN has reached out to The Hollywood Reporter for comment.

Douglas said he ultimately chose to preemptively talk about the sexual harassment claim, in hopes of limiting the story’s potential impact.

“I had the choice of waiting for a story to come out, one that will clearly get picked up by other newspapers and magazines, and then I have to sit there and try to defend myself. Or, try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns,” he said.

Douglas said he has “reason to believe that no one else has come forward” with a story about him.

“Again, I am sorry if I used coarse language with my friends. But this is really debilitating,” he said. “It can have a large effect on my career. And also, I think it really sends a message out.”

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3 comments

  • Lance

    Alright enough is enough. 35 years ago. Soon we will be apologizing for what we did in a playground as toddlers. This is turning into shakedowns for these “victims” I say this not because I approve of sick behavior but decades of silence afterwards by these people isnt fair or right to be found guilty by the media because they decided now was the time to remember.

    • I Called It

      When the whole Weinstein thing broke open, I wrote that men and women would be coming out of the woodwork, and they are. I wrote that the accusations would be decades old. The problem, here, is that this amount of time defies the statute of limitations in nearly EVERY crime, with the exception of murder. Why haven’t these people come forward, before?

      I have some very mild sense of compassion for the women who were damaged by their contact with Weinstein, but not much and the reason is simple: they said nothing, did nothing, and allowed a sick, warped, and powerful predator to continue doing to others what had been done to them. Because their “careers” were more important than the safety of other people, they said and did NOTHING. This is the lesson of this whole mess: there are other jobs, other paths, and other directions to take. Being a movie star is not worth the lives that are ruined because people tolerate and actually allow a predator to continue operating because the next gal or guy doesn’t deserve to know what they’re getting into.

      Now, thanks to Oprah’s windbag bid for Presidency at the Golden Globe Awards (AND, her previous support and association with Weinstein!), there are only “male vs female” accusations being validated – to keep this gender b.s. going strong. Has anyone given Corey Feldman’s experiences one ounce of credibility? Of course not – he’s quirky, odd, angry, and he’s a man.

    • See No Evil Till I Make It Big

      The actresses are hypocrites. They kept the abuse quiet until they “made it big”. Then it’s safe to complain when they know they can’t suffer retribution. Unfortunately their self imposed silence as they tried to establish themselves left behind scores of other female abuse victims.