Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing five women during his time at ABC News, where he worked as a political director.
Halperin allegedly grabbed a colleague’s breasts, pressed his genitals against three women, and propositioned other co-workers for sex, according to five women who spoke to CNN.
Halperin is an analyst for NBC News, and he issued an apology on Wednesday, although he denied grabbing a woman’s breasts and pressing his genitals against three women.
The 52-year-old journalist said: “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. 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, who went on to work for Time magazine and Bloomberg also wrote “Game Change”, a book about the 2008 presidential elections that was adapted into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson.
Halperin is the latest figure to face sexual harassment allegations after dozens of women spoke out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Actress Accuses President George H.W. Bush of Sexual Assault... Yes, The 93-Year-Old Bush, Who Apologizes
The 34-year-old actress wrote, "When I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo. He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side."
She wrote, "He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say “not again.” His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo. We were instructed to call him Mr. President."
Lind added, "It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy. He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me..."
Former President George H.W. Bush apologized to Heather Lind.
A spokesperson for Bush said yesterday, "President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind."
The rep later issued a second statement with a more detailed explanation. It said, “At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”
Bush has a Parkinsons-like disease and other ailments, that causes him to use a wheelchair and have difficulty speaking