This post has been updated.
Prominent political journalist Mark Halperin apologized Wednesday night after five women told CNN that Halperin sexually harassed them while he was working at ABC News.
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to CNN. “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 is a senior political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and a co-author of best-selling “Game Change” campaign books.
MSNBC told CNN that Halperin will leave his role as an analyst for the network given the allegations.
“We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” MSNBC said in a statement to CNN. “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”
Showtime, which produced a series on the 2016 campaign with Halperin called “The Circus, said Thursday afternoon that Showtime has not received complaints about Halperin’s behavior and that the network will consider the allegations made this week as it evaluates whether to create a second season.
“During Mark’s time working with us, we have not seen nor have there been allegations of any untoward behavior. We are aware of these reports and will continue to evaluate all options should we decide to move forward with another season of THE CIRCUS. There is no tolerance for sexual harassment within SHOWTIME and its productions,” the company said in a statement.
Five women told CNN that Halperin sexually harassed them while at ABC News, with some accusing him of inappropriately propositioning him and pressing his genitals against them without consent. Halperin served in powerful positions at ABC, including as the network’s political director, though none of the women who spoke with CNN say Halperin threatened their careers or promised to help them in exchange for sex.
In a statement to CNN, ABC News said that Halperin has not worked at the network for a while and that “no complaints were filed during his tenure.”
The five women told CNN that they did not report the incidents to human resources because they feared retribution from Halperin. They spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity because they know Halperin is an influential member of the media.
One woman told CNN that during the early 2000s, she went to meet Halperin in his office, where he allegedly proceeded to press his genitals against her, grab her breasts, and kiss her forcibly.
Another woman told CNN that during a meeting during the 2004 election cycle, she met with Halperin about her role in campaign coverage. During the meeting, Halperin pressed his genitals against her shoulder while she was sitting in a chair, she told CNN. He later propositioned her on the campaign trail, she told CNN.
Two other women also told CNN that Halperin propositioned her while on the road to cover a campaign. A fifth woman did not share many details, but told CNN that Halperin pressed his genitals against her while clothed.
Another woman on Thursday morning revealed that she was sexually harassed by Halperin, though she did not reveal the details of the incident. Emily Miller, a journalist and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun,” said she did not report the incident at the time.
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