Journalist Mark Halperin, perhaps best known for co-authoring the 2008 presidential election chronicle "Game Change," is facing accusations of sexual harassment from his time at ABC News.
During his tenure as political director at ABC News, Halperin allegedly sexually harassed at least five different women, according to CNN. The report claimed that he propositioned employees for sex, pressed a clothed erection against their bodies without their consent and grabbed one's breasts against her will. Halperin denied the involuntary groping and erection-related accusations.
"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 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," Halperin told CNN in a statement on Wednesday night.
While NBC News declined to comment on the accusations against Halperin, ABC News told CNN that "no complaints were filed during his tenure," which ended a decade ago.
Halperin currently serves as an analyst for NBC News and, aside from his role in co-authoring "Game Change," is perhaps best known as a regular on-air guest on the MSNBC program "Morning Joe." After his stint as political director at ABC News ended in 2007, he joined Time Magazine in 2007 and then Bloomberg in 2014. He also became a national figure after co-authoring both "Game Change" and its sequel about the 2012 presidential election, "Double Down."
There are no accusations of Halperin exhibiting sexually inappropriate behavior after his departure from ABC News.
A number of other powerful men have been accused of sexual misconduct since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke earlier this month. Weinstein was the founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company and was widely considered to be one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 60 women, including famous actresses like Lysette Anthony, Rosanna Arquette, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino.
The list of men who have been subsequently accused includes actor Ben Affleck, chef John Besh, former President George H. W. Bush, former Amazon executive Roy Price, "Loud House" creator Chris Savino, former Vox Media executive Lockhart Steele, Director James Toback and deceased human rights activist Elie Wiesel.