Morgan Freeman claims CNN defamed him in their reporting of allegations of harassment against him and is demanding a retraction and apology.
In a letter from Freeman's attorney and addressed to CNN president Jeff Zucker, Freeman calls the article "the product of malicious intent, falsehoods, slight-of-hand, an absence of editorial control, and journalistic malpractice."
Freeman specifically takes issue with reporter Chloe Melas' interpretation of an interaction between herself and Freeman in 2017 at a press event for the movie "Going In Style."
In the letter, Freeman's attorneys claim Melas "imagined an incident, or exaggerated a non-malicious remark wildly out of proportion to reality, to give her a basis to go after Mr. Freeman and cause him the grave harm that CNN’s story has inflicted."
Freeman acknowledges that he made the remark in question — "I wish I was there" — but he was responding to a story Michael Caine had just told, and was not, as Melas claims, making reference to her being pregnant.
Freeman also claims that the two other women who went on the record with CNN were either misrepresented or have gone on the record saying that Morgan Freeman never harassed them.
"It is clear that CNN has defamed Mr. Freeman," the letter states. "CNN has inflicted serious injury on his reputation and career. At a minimum, CNN immediately needs to issue a retraction and apologize to Mr. Freeman through the same channels, and with the same level of attention, that it used to unjustly attack him on May 24."