Michael Douglas would like to make something very clear.
In an interview with Deadline, the veteran actor has responded to accusations of sexual harassment with a definitive statement that can best be summed up with these words:
No. Not me too.
The 73-year old The Oscar winner decided to come forward preemptively after being contacted by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety regarding allegations of misconduct made by an employee who worked for him more 32 years ago.
This employee claims Douglas once dropped his pants and masturbated in front of her.
The woman worked for Douglas’ production company in New York, the actor says, adding:
“I don’t know where to begin. This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever.”
Having been in the entertainment industry for over 50 years, both as an actor and producer, the two-time Academy Award winner went into further detail about why he’s speaking out.
“I felt the need to get ahead of this,” Douglas explains, adding:
“It pertains to me but I’m also getting a sense of how it reflects in our culture, and what is going on today. I see it as a cautionary tale.”
Douglas says he remembers the woman in question and says he fired her based on her work.
He also denies her claims that he proceeded to blackball her from Hollywood.
“I support the #metoo movement with all my heart,” Douglas continued.
“I have always supported women, along the way. This is the kind of step that can set that movement back….
“I’m just happy to be able to present my story. I’m grateful to have the support of my wife and my kids who’ve had to share this with me.
“It has been a complete nightmare.”
The actor is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones.
As readers are likely well aware, Hollywood continues to reel from accusations against a variety of men of sexual harassment and misconduct.
The issue took on a new life of its own last year after producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of some horrible acts against the opposite sex.
Since then, victims have been empowered to go public, with accusations taking down the careers of such major stars as Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer and Louis C.K.
The latter was also accused of jerking off in front of women, but he actually confessed to these misdeeds.
The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, has not yet commented on Douglas’ statement and/or the article he says the publication called him about in December.
As of late Tuesday, there were no stories containing allegations against Douglas on its website.
To conclude his chat with Deadline, Douglas said the following:
I’m upset… I’m having a hard time understanding it. I’m very grateful to my family and business associates around me.
I’m fearful, I have jobs going with studios who all seem to be supportive at this time.
I’m hurt, really hurt and offended and I wonder if people realize when you do something like this, it hurts a lot more than just one person.