Morgan Freeman's Lawyer Demands CNN Retract Sexual Harassment Story

Morgan Freeman’s lawyer sent a letter to CNN president, Jeff Zucker, demanding the outlet retract its story accusing the actor of sexual harassment, according to Variety. The letter claims that the piece was “used to unjustly attack him” and was fraught with “malicious intent, falsehoods, sleight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice.” It also addresses allegations from Chloe Melas—a co-author of the CNN piece who said that she was one of Freeman’s alleged victims—claiming they are not true. “[T]here is substantial evidence that Ms. Melas imagined an incident, or exaggerated a non-malicious remark wildly out of proportion to reality, to give her a basis to go after Mr. Freeman,” the letter read. It also claims she “baited and prodded” witnesses and victims to speak out against Freeman. One of the alleged victims listed in the piece, local news reporter Tyra Martin, has said that the network “misrepresented” her remarks. Lawyer Robert Schwartz later told The Hollywood Reporter that they provided CNN with “objective evidence, including videotapes and on-the-record denials” to refute the report. A CNN spokesperson pushed back on Tuesday's letter, saying the claims “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.”