Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm No Sex Pest Says Michael Douglas; Actor Speaks out after Woman 'Says He Harassed Her in the Eighties'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm No Sex Pest Says Michael Douglas; Actor Speaks out after Woman 'Says He Harassed Her in the Eighties'

Article excerpt

Byline: David Gardner US Correspondent

MICHAEL DOUGLAS has spoken out to deny a former employee's claim that he sexually harassed her 32 years ago.

The unnamed woman allegedly claims the US actor, now 73, once masturbated in front of her and then blacklisted her from Hollywood.

"I don't know where to begin," he said. "This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever." He added: "It has been a complete nightmare."

Douglas, who won the best actor Oscar for his role in 1987's Wall Street, said he had the full support of his wife, the actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

He said he decided to go public with the accusations against him because he "felt the need to get ahead" of the story and declare his innocence.

He told Deadline, the US entertainment news website, that his children were terrified that he would be labelled a predator after the accusations. Douglas revealed he was approached by The Hollywood Reporter just before Christmas, with the publication asking him to comment on the woman's allegations.

He said the woman, who once worked for his production company in New York, complained about the "colourful language" he used in front of her and claimed he spoke "raunchily, or dirtily" in private conversations with friends. She also claims he stopped her from getting another job in showbusiness. Douglas said he was "floored" by the woman's claim that he masturbated in front of her. "She supposedly had three friends who would back her up, that she had mentioned this to," he said.

While he admitted that he might have used bad language at the time, he also denied blacklisting the woman.

"I pride myself of being so supportive of the women's movement. My mother was an actress, and I myself married an actress and have been supportive of this movement wholeheartedly, through all my years. …

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