According to a CNN report, renowned NBC senior political analyst and frequent MSNBC “Morning Joe” panelist, Mark Halperin has been accused of sexual harassment by five women while at ABC News in the early 2000s.
Halperin who was ABC’s political director at the time, however, didn’t dispute the allegations, telling CNN late Wednesday that he’s “deeply sorry” and will be taking a “step back” from his routine duties to deal with the situation.
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. I now understand from these accounts that my behaviour was inappropriate and caused others pain”, Halperin said in a statement to CNN.
The report was exclusive with accusations from the women, who pleaded anonymity, that include overtures to employees for sex, kissing women without consent, grinding up against three woman while pressing an erection against them, and grabbing one woman’s breast without consent.
Meanwhile, “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski addressed the matter not long after the show began on Thursday morning.
“Now to a story that broke overnight involving someone you see around this table every day. CNN is reporting allegations regarding our friend Mark Halperin during his time at ABC News over a decade ago, unnamed sources detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behaviour. Halperin apologised for the pain his actions caused and said ‘I will take a step pack from my day-to-day work while I properly address the situation’”, Brzezinski said to the camera.
“We are going to be following this story as it develops I’m sure we are going to be talking about it again when we know more about it,” she added.
In its reaction to the development, MSNBC said in a statement that Halperin, the co-author of the best-selling book “Game Change” “is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”
Similarly, NBC in a statement said it finds the CNN report and allegations “very troubling.”
“Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood”, the statement said.