NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
Michael Douglas came forward to deny private claims of sexual misconduct from a former employee, who worked for the actor over 30 years ago.
The woman claimed that Douglas had used “colourful” language in front of her, spoke “raunchily” with friends in front of her, blackballed her from the industry and masturbated in front of her.
In an interview with Deadline, Douglas apologized for using “colourful” language. “None of it was directed at her. She didn’t say it was. It was my office and that was the tone that I set,” he explained, adding that he had worked out of his New York home at the time. “As to colourful language, she may have overheard private conversations, and if she was offended, she could have excused herself.”
The actor also denied the blackballing allegation, calling it “completely untrue.”
“I never blackballed her,” Douglas said. “If people from the industry called me to ask about her, I would have been honest, but I never blackballed her.”
Douglas said that the masturbating claim is “a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever.”
“I pride myself on my reputation in this business, not to mention the long history of my father and everything else,” he told Deadline. “I don’t have skeletons in my closet, or anyone else who’s coming out or saying this. I’m bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now.”
The two-time Oscar winner said that he caught wind of the allegations when Variety and The Hollywood Reporter contacted his lawyer seeking comment “right before the holidays.”
Douglas decided to give the interview to share his own information and have more control over the public narrative about him.
“I felt the need to get ahead of this,” he said.
Douglas continued: “I had the choice of waiting for a story to come out, one that will clearly get picked up by other newspapers and magazines, and then I have to sit there and try to defend myself. Or, try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns. Again, I am sorry if I used coarse language with my friends. But this is really debilitating. It can have a large effect on my career. And also, I think it really sends a message out.”
“Look, I support the #metoo movement with all my heart,” he shared. “I have always supported women, along the way. This is the kind of step that can set that movement back. Being accused, without a chance [to defend yourself] in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself. There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.”
“I’d confess to anything I thought I was responsible for,” the 73-year-old actor said. “And it was most certainly not masturbating in front of this woman.”
Douglas claims that there is no evidence to prove his alleged behaviour and that it is “way past the statute of limitations.”
The actor also spoke about how the news is affecting his family.
“The part that hurt the worst is having to share something like this with your wife and your children,” he said. “My kids are really upset, they have to go to school worrying this is going to be in some article about me, being a sexual harasser. They’re scared and very uncomfortable.”