MSNBC announced on Monday morning that it has fired journalist Mark Halperin days after he was accused of sexual harassment by five women.
Deadline reported that Halperin released a desperate apology on Friday night, admitting his “aggressive and crude” behavior towards women while at ABC. However, he insisted that since joining MSNBC in 2010 as a senior political analyst, he’s had a “very different reputation than I had at ABC News because I conducted myself in a very different manner.”
He explained that this change was the result of “several years” of “weekly counseling sessions to work on understanding the personal issues and attitudes that caused me to behave in such an inappropriate manner.”
“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.”
CNN senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward took to Twitter to say that Halperin’s alleged behavior “was an open secret when I was at ABC for years – brave of these women to speak up.” Penguin Press also ditched plans to publish a new book of Halperin’s.
“In light of the recent news regarding Mark Halperin, Penguin Press has decided to cancel plans to publish a book he was co-authoring on the 2016 election,” the publisher said in a statement.
“Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski came under fire after she released a statement defending Halperin. She later backtracked from the scandal in a huge way.
“Over the past 24 hours there have been more disturbing reports regarding Mark Halperin’s treatment of younger female workers,” she said. “Behavior in these reports allegedly occurred one to two decades ago and now we’re looking at it….But we’re also witnessing a larger movement of women speaking up about sexual harassment, because the fear of being dismissed, or not believed, is melting away.”
The allegations from the anonymous women include propositioning employees for sex, kissing, and grabbing one’s breast without consent. Three of the women say that Halperin pressed his erection against their bodies. However, he denies grabbing a woman’s breasts and pressing his genitals against these three women.
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