Morgan Freeman's lawyers are furious with CNN over a story the network ran about the actor allegedly sexually assaulting multiple women, and they've have fired off a letter.
According to TMZ, Freeman's attorneys have called the recent expose "the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice."
They went on to claim that the story is rooted in a "bias" of CNN reporter Cloe Melas, who claims that Freeman made sexually suggestive comments to her while she was pregnant, such as "You are ripe," and "Boy, do I wish I was there."
Freeman's lawyers refute her version of the events, stating that a recording of the interaction reveals only that Freeman said "I wish I was there," and that this comment was in reference to his Dark Knight Trilogy co-star Michael Caine telling a story about once mistakenly congratulating a woman for being pregnant when she wasn't.
"One cannot know if [Melas' version of events] was the product of something as innocuous as Ms. Melas having misheard what Mr. Freeman said, her runaway self-centeredness, or her search for a sexual harassment perpetrator to 'expose' so that she could grab attention and advance her career," the letter from Freeman's attorneys goes on to say.
Additionally, the 80-year-old's lawyers criticize the network for giving Melas a "greenlight to use CNN's considerable resources to launch a year-long witch hunt against Mr. Freeman."
It also demands a retraction to their story, and an apology, as well as indicates that other stories from alleged victims were misrepresented. Interestingly, at least one alleged victim has in fact come out to claim that her story was not reported the way it happened.
Tyra Martin was one of the women that CNN identified as having been sexually harassed by Freeman, quoting her as having told a story about Freeman commenting on her pulling her skirt down, but she responded to the story by saying that she feels CNN sensationalized her account of what happened.
"Hey, still getting a lot of nasty messages from people who think I AM one of the accusers," Martin told reporters. "I'm not, never was. CNN totally misrepresented the video and took my remarks out of context."
In response to the allegations, Freeman issued a statement through his publicist, saying in part, "All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor."
He later clarified, "I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. Any suggestion that I did so is completely false."