Culture

Mark Halperin Sexual Harassment Was 'Open Secret'

Mark Halperin Sexual Harassment Was 'Open Secret'”

"We find the story and the allegations very troubling", MSNBC said in a statement.

Prominent MSNBC journalist Mark Halperin - co-author of a best-selling book about Barack Obama - has been suspended from his role as a contributor to the network following charges from five women who claimed he sexually harassed them while he was an ABC News executive.

Halperin has apologized for what he termed inappropriate behavior, and ABC said Thursday that no complaints were filed against him during his tenure, which ended more than a decade ago.

He denied accusations of grabbing a woman's breasts and pressing his erections against his accusers' bodies, CNN reported. "I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain".

Since then, MSNBC, and the larger NBC News operation, have demonstrated exactly how to handle such scandal: Co-host Mika Brzezinski soberly addressed the situation yesterday before NBC announced Halperin's immediate suspension while facts were gathered, and today they addressed this ugly situation again.

Halperin co-hosted a political analysis show on Bloomberg TV, and produced and was featured in Showtime's The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, which followed presidential candidates during their 2016 election campaigns.

Halperin's bestselling book about the 2008 election, "Game Change", was adapted by HBO into a film starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris.

In light of the new allegations, it's worth revisiting Halperin's 2016 comment that people should be "skeptical and question the timing" of the allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump.

CNN global correspondent Clarissa Ward, who also used to work at ABC, tweeted that Halperin's behavior was "an open secret" at the network.

"But Emily Miller, a former ABC employee who is now a reporter at One America News Network, retweeted the Halperin story on Thursday with the hashtag "#MeToo".

She continued to artfully express real love and support for her friends, saying "our hearts break for Mark and his family, he is our friend" before immediately noting that she, and the show, take these allegations very seriously, and committed "to covering it closely in the days and weeks to come".

One woman recounted a moment she experienced while working on the road with Halperin: "I excused myself to go to the bathroom and he was standing there when I opened the door propositioning [me] to go into the other bathroom to do something", she said.

A fifth woman told CNN that Halperin placed his erect penis against her body without consent while he was clothed.



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