Just days after his father, Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas, was honored at the Golden Globes, actor Michael Douglas was in the headlines, as yet another big star in Tinseltown being accused of sexual harassment.
According to various media reports, Douglas has been accused of harassing a woman 32 years ago. The actor vehemently denies the charges. In fact, he is mounting an all guns firing PR campaign to get out ahead of the story, unlike many of his colleagues who have passively taken the barrage of fire over this issue.
Douglas says he fears the allegations will tar him as a “sexual predator,” something he categorically denies. During a recent interview, Douglas said he was speaking out in order to “get ahead” of the narrative. He says he heard about the allegations right before the Christmas holiday.
“I got a message from my attorney that The Hollywood Reporter wanted to do a story about an employee that worked for me approximately 32 years ago…” Douglas said, according to Deadline. In that story, Douglas takes each of the claims one at a time, denouncing them:
“She claims that, one, I used colorful language in front of her, not at her, but that I used colorful language… she claims that in conversations I had in front of her, on the phone, that I spoke raunchily, or dirtily with friends of mine, in private conversations… ‘I fired her eventually… for the work she was doing, (but) three, she claims that I blackballed her from the industry and stopped her from getting another job…” Douglas called other allegations completely false: “…a lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever…”
Douglas says he has worked in his career to maintain a good reputation. “I don’t have skeletons in my closet or anyone else who’s coming out and saying this…”
The actor added that it’s likely the accuser may be “disgruntled” because of the impact losing her job with him had on her career and that he’s disappointed that his family is now left having to answer questions about this situation.
“The part that hurt the worst is having to share something like this to your wife and your children… ‘My kids are really upset… have to go to school worrying this is going to be in some article about me, being a sexual harasser. They’re scared and very uncomfortable.”
At present, there has been no response from the accuser as to all these comments. Given the nature of the situation and the lack of evidence on the issue, this may end up being one of the first genuine, head-to-head, he-said she-said issues of the #MeToo movement. Only the public will be able to decide what they believe to be true.
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