Amid the now widespread allegations against Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, another prominent media figure has been accused, this time in a piece by liberal news outlet CNN that claims that veteran political journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women during his time as political director at ABC News.
The explosive report paints a picture of Halperin using his powerful position at ABC News to not only proposition employees for sex but also to kiss and grab at least one female employees breast’s against her will.
According to CNN, although the accusers didn’t specifically report to Halperin, he made many decisions about the political coverage at ABC as well as some “critical personnel decisions.”
“While they no longer work with him, Halperin continues to wield influence in politics and media. The women who spoke to CNN said it was for this reason that they shared their accounts on the condition of anonymity. Others also said they still feel embarrassed about what happened to them and did not want to be publicly associated with it.”
The first woman told CNN she was invited to visit his office in the early 2000s, when he was political director at ABC News, to have a soda, and said that while she was there with him he forcibly kissed her and pressed his genitals against her body.
“I went up to have a soda and talk and — he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” the woman said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”
When she did make her way out of his office, the woman told a friend at ABC News what had happened. That friend told CNN she remembered the woman telling her about the incident and seeing her visibly shaken.
The second woman, another former ABC News employee, described a similar experience in his office during the 2004 campaign cycle. This woman said she was around 25 years old then, and wanted to be a “campaign off-air” — ABC News’ term for one of the reporters who travel embedded with presidential campaigns — so she reached out to Halperin, who was a part of the decision-making process regarding those assignments at the time.
“The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office and he just came up from behind — I was sitting in a chair from across his desk — and he came up behind me and [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” this woman told CNN. “I was obviously completely shocked. I can’t even remember how I got out of there — [but] I got out of there and was freaked out by that whole experience. Given I was so young and new I wasn’t sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news.”
The woman said Halperin continued to express a sexual desire for her in subsequent visits, despite being rebuffed.
“It was more like him coming up too close to me and sort of along the lines of hugging me,” she explained.
She also alleged that Halperin propositioned her for sex on the campaign trail.
The article goes on to discuss various other allegations from multiple women. All in all it is an important read with the caveat that CNN is currently conducting a massive anti-Trump disinformation campaign and the accused has in the past been attacked by liberals for not getting aboard the destroy Trump train.
Halperin, 52, is widely considered to be a “preeminent political journalist” who has not only been political director at ABC News but has also co-authored a bestselling book that was made into an HBO movie. He also anchored a television show on Bloomberg and has been featured heavily on MSNBC.
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin told CNN in a statement for the article. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”
Halperin may be the next domino to fall in the ongoing release of startling information about powerful men sexually harassing and attacking women – all started by the Harvey Weinstein bombshell.
Update: Other women are now coming forward against Halperin.
— Clarissa Ward (@clarissaward) October 26, 2017
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