Wall Street star Michael Douglas ‘gets ahead’ of sexual harassment claims
MICHAEL DOUGLAS has become the latest in a long line of movie stars to deny sexual harassment — but unlike many of the others, he has chosen to out himself.
The veteran movie star, 73, made the pre-emptive strike after becoming aware that a female employee of more than 30 years ago was planning to publish claims that he had masturbated and used explicit language in front of her, and ‘blackballed’ her from the industry.
Douglas branded the masturbation claim ‘a complete lie’ — although he did ‘fess up to colourful language’ — and said he was speaking out before the claims became public because he ‘felt the need to get ahead of this’.
The Wall Street star added that he found the allegations ‘extremely painful’ and particularly upsetting as they affected his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and their two children, Dylan and Carys.
In an interview with US entertainment website Deadline, he said: ‘I tried to figure out, why the hell would somebody do this?
‘The part that hurt the worst is having to share something like this to your wife and your children.
‘My kids are really upset, has to go to school worrying this is going to be in some article about me, being a sexual harasser.’
Douglas said he supports women and the #MeToo movement that has emerged following the large number of sexual misconduct allegations that have swept Hollywood in recent months, but reiterated that the allegations against himself were not accurate.
‘It has been a complete nightmare,’ he said.
‘It’s really hard to conceive that I have to defend myself against a situation that is 32 years ago, and it was not what they are saying it was.’
Author: Anna Thomson