Veteran journalist Mark Halperin apologized for what he terms “inappropriate” behavior, after five women claimed he sexually harassed them while he was a top ABC News executive.
The co-author of the best-selling book “Game Change” told CNN Wednesday night that he is “deeply sorry” and is taking a “step back” from day-to-day work to deal with the situation. Halperin is currently an analyst for NBC News.
His statement came after CNN reported allegations that Halperin propositioned, fondled and pushed himself against five women in the early 2000s, when he was ABC News’ political director.
The women, who asked to remain anonymous, said they didn’t report Halperin’s conduct because they feared retribution or were embarrassed.
Halperin, who is Jewish, said he pursued relationships, sometimes with junior co-workers, but CNN said he denies the groping allegations.
Halperin’s apology came amid an outpouring of sexual harassment allegations against powerful male figures in entertainment, fashion, and finance that followed the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who stands accused of assaulting and raping actresses.
This week, former US President George H.W. Bush apologized for jokingly patting “women’s rears,” after an actress accused him of groping her from his wheelchair while at a screening.