Following a report by CNN detailing allegations against actor Morgan Freeman by eight women accusing him of sexual misconduct, a lawyer representing Freeman is demanding a retraction from CNN, USA Today reports.
Attorney Robert M. Schwartz reportedly sent a 10-page letter to CNN President Jeff Zucker in which he calls the CNN story “the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand [sic], an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice.”
“He notes in the letter sent Tuesday that his firm, the Los Angeles-based Irell & Manella LLP, has begun its own investigation of CNN’s reporting,” USA Today adds. “Nevertheless, he demands that CNN issue a retraction and an apology to Freeman and his producing partner, Lori McCreary, who Schwartz claims told their reporters she was not harassed.”
“Reporters Chloe Melas and An Phung wrote that McCreary, who co-founded Revelation Entertainment with Freeman and serves as co-president of the Producers Guild of America, witnessed inappropriate behavior by Freeman and was herself the subject of sexist remarks at a 2016 panel discussion,” the USA Today report adds.
Freeman is quoted in the report, which cites coverage of the panel event by The Hollywood Reporter, saying of McCreary: “She doesn’t want to be thought of as a pretty face. She wants to be thought of as serious. But you can’t get away from the short dresses.”
CNN responded to the attorney’s demand by saying it was standing behind its story on Freeman, according to media reports.