UPDATE: Losique claims that this interaction with Affleck was part of a bit, telling THR, “I was not at all a victim.”
Just hours after condemning an alleged serial sexual abuser, Ben Affleck was accused on Twitter of groping actress Hilarie Burton during a 2003 TRL interview.
On Tuesday, Affleck tweeted a statement condemning Harvey Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual harassment and assault. “This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others,” he wrote. “We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
Quick to condemn Affleck’s own behavior was a random Twitter user who was having none of the star’s bullshit statement, writing, “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.” That’s when Burton herself got involved, responding to the thread, “I didn't forget.”
The One Tree Hill actress, who was just 21 at the time, shared an outtakes clip in which she references the groping, saying, “He comes over and tweaks my left boob.” Burton recalled, “I had to laugh back then so I wouldn't cry.”
Now, Affleck’s Twitter timeline boasts two juxtaposed tweets: his pledge to combat sexual abusers, and his admission that, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.” As the ancient internet proverb says, life comes at you fast.
In light of Burton’s testimony—and actress Rose McGowan’s accusation that Affleck was well aware of Weinstein’s predatory behavior—the actor is under a good deal of scrutiny. And it’s not going too well. Most recently, Affleck supported his brother Casey, who was accused of sexual harassment by two women he worked with prior to winning the Academy Award for Best Actor last February. The elder Affleck also has a history of acting inappropriately towards women. The Burton clip recalls another viral Affleck video that deserves to be resurfaced in the midst of this new controversy.
In a 2004 interview to promote the film Jersey Girl, the actor, who was dating his co-star Jennifer Lopez at the time, holds Canadian TV presenter Anne-Marie Losique on his lap and hugs and nuzzles her. As Losique squirms, Affleck interrogates her, “You usually show a lot more cleavage than this, what’s the story? Why are you covering it up today?” insisting that, “They would like the show better if you did it topless, wouldn’t they?” When Losique responds that, “It’s Sunday morning,” the actor continues, “That never stopped you before from getting them titties out. Who are you trying to fool... Sunday morning? You can be in church, you should have that rack on display.”
“You know, you should work at Fox here in LA,” Affleck muses, still holding her on his lap. “You’d blend right in, they would love you. Fox LA, they have a pole that they dance on.”
Then there’s a lot of incoherent mumbling in an exaggerated French accent, followed by, “These breasts are very firm. Suspiciously firm.” Affleck goes on to conjecture about Losique’s sex life, asking if she has a boyfriend “back in Montreal.” At one point, he proposes lifting up her shirt, insisting, “Let’s do a Janet Jackson stunt”.
Later on, Affleck appears to mock the disabled, making offensive motions while saying, “Don’t make me look like I am retarded! I look like I have cerebral palsy now.” He tells Losique to “stay still” and “stop moving,” pulling her back onto his lap when she gets up.
He ends the segment with an extended bit, joking, “It doesn’t have to be about sex all the time…it hurts my feelings. I feel used and exploited. I feel undervalued and objectified by you.”