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Multiple Women Accuse Political Journalist Mark Halperin of Sexual Harassment
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Summary: Political analyst Mark Halperin has been accused of sexual harassment while at ABC News. 

Established journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexual harassment while he was at ABC News. Halperin is best known for his political analysis and co-writing the book “Game Change,” which documented the 2008 election and became a hit HBO TV movie.

  
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Five women spoke to CNN this week and shared stories about Halperin’s alleged misbehavior, and the network also spoke to Halperin, who apologized to those he had hurt. He explained that he had pursued relationships with women junior to him at work and that his behavior could be seen as inappropriate.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said. “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 has most recently been seen as an analyst on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and the network said that he was leaving that role after the allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced against him.

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“We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” MSNBC said in a statement. “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

Women who came forward against Halperin said that the 52-year-old journalist, who has appeared on ABC, MSNBC, and HBO, has a dark side. One source who spoke to CNN said that Halperin propositioned low-level employees for sex while in his high-powered position, and a source said he even grabbed one woman’s breasts against her will in the office. Three sources said that he pressed his erection against women’s bodies without their consent.



ABC News stated that no complaints were ever filed against Halperin during his time there and that he had left the organization almost ten years ago. CNN stated that although Halperin’s actions are not on the same level as Hollywood predator and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein, Halperin was in a power position at ABC News and used it to womanize.

“While the allegations against Halperin do not mirror the allegations against Weinstein, the fact that the women who spoke with CNN have chosen to do so now does reflect the larger discussion in entertainment, media, politics and other industries since the Weinstein scandal began. Women — and men — are talking about things that have long been rumored but have never been brought to light. Some people are feeling emboldened to tell those stories now. Others are looking back and regretting the things they didn’t do,” CNN stated.

One woman said that Halperin had invited him into her office for a soda, and when she went there, he had forcibly kissed her before he pressed his clothed genitals against her body. The woman left the office and told her friend what had happened. The friend confirmed to CNN that the woman was shaken by the incident.

Another woman told CNN a similar story that had allegedly occurred in 2004.

“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,” the second 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.”

Three other women shared stories of being propositioned or groped, and Halperin allegedly exhibited this type of behavior from the 1990s to the mid-2000s.

Halperin has denied the charges of breast grabbing and pushing his genitals onto others at work. The five women who spoke to CNN said that Halperin did not promise anyone promotions or money in exchange for sex, nor did he ever retaliate against women. They also stated that no formal complaints were filed against him at ABC News. 

Source: CNN

What do you think of the allegations against Mark Halperin? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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