On Friday, political journalist Mark Halperin issued a statement of apology to his accusers via Twitter. The NBC News political analyst, who frequently appears on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, is accused of sexually harassing several women while working at ABC News. His initial accusers were five, but CNN report suggests at least a dozen women allege Halperin said or did sexually inappropriate things.
“I am profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I mistreated,” Halperin said. Halperin added, “Toward the end of my time at ABC News, I recognized that I had a problem. I acknowledge that, and I deeply regret it. As I said earlier this week, my behavior was wrong. It caused fear and anxiety for women who were only seeking to do their jobs.”
“No one had sued me, no one had filed a human resources complaint against me, no colleague had confronted me,” Halperin continued. That said, Halperin admitted he “didn’t need a call from HR to know that I was a selfish, immature person, who was behaving in a manner that had to stop.”
This news comes after a CNN report that alleged Mark Halperin propositioned employees for sex, kisses and “grabbing one’s breasts against her will.” Three women spoke to CNN and described Halperin “without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed.”
In fact, one of the women said when she “went up to have a soda and talk and… he just kissed me and grabbed my boobs,” adding: “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.” That being said, Halperin’s accusers never reported him to executives at ABC News. They also told CNN that he never promised to give them anything for sex, or suggested he would retaliate against anyone should they report his behavior.
Halperin admitted to CNN he “[pursued] relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me” in a statement. “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.”
Following the report, NBC said, “We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past are fully understood.”