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(LOS ANGELES) — Oscar-winner Michael Douglas has offered Deadline an exhaustive interview in order to “get ahead” of a sexual harassment allegation leveled against him by a woman he worked with 32 years ago.
Douglas calls the woman’s most salacious accusation — that he pleasured himself in front of her — a “complete…fabrication.”
Calling it a “cautionary tale,” in a time when careers can be ruined without proof, Douglas said in addition, the woman “claims that…I used colorful language…that in conversations I had in front of her, on the phone, that I spoke raunchily, or dirtily with friends of mine, in private conversations.”
While he apologized for the “colorful language,” he noted, “None of it was directed at her; she didn’t say it was. It was my office and that was the tone that I set…she may have overheard private conversations, and if she was offended, she could have excused herself.”
Douglas also denied blackballing the accuser.
As to the accusation of him pleasuring himself, Douglas says there is “no truth to it whatsoever,” adding, “I was floored. I didn’t know what to say and I tried to digest it…I tried to figure out, why the hell would somebody do this?”
Douglas told the trade, “I pride myself of being so supportive of the women’s movement…wholeheartedly, through all my years.” He also noted that he’s worked with dozens of female executives and “hundreds of performers” in his lengthy career, and was never accused of any impropriety.
Calling the accusations “extremely painful,” the actor said, “I pride myself on my reputation in this business, not to mention the long history of my father and everything else. I don’t have skeletons in my closet.”
Douglas also speculates that his accuser “either has or is trying to get a book deal,” adding, “I can’t believe that someone would cause someone else pain like this. Maybe she is disgruntled her career didn’t go the way she hoped and she is holding this grudge.”
Douglas added, “The part that hurt the worst is having to share something like this to your wife and your children. My kids are really upset, has to go to school worrying this is going to be in some article about me, being a sexual harasser. They’re scared and very uncomfortable.”
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