In an attempt to get ahead of a report of sexual misconduct about him, Michael Douglas gave an interview to Deadline, in which he preemptively denied alleged accusations from a former employee. According to Deadline, both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter were considering publishing accusations from a former employee against Douglas. While those allegations have not yet been published, the actor decided to give an interview in advance to deny everything.
According to the actor, a former employee who worked with him more than 30 years ago has accused him of using “colorful language” in front of her, having raunchy conversations over the phone, blackballing her once she was fired, and masturbating in front of her. In his interview, Douglas apologized for his language, though insisted that it was part of private conversations — “if she was offended, she could have excused herself” — and insisted that he made no attempt to blackball the employee. “Finally, masturbating in front of her?” he said. “I don’t know where to begin. This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever.”
When asked why he decided to come forward with this story in the first place, Douglas says he wanted to have control over his narrative, instead of responding while on the defensive. “I had the choice of waiting for a story to come out, one that will clearly get picked up by other newspapers and magazines, and then I have to sit there and try to defend myself,” he said. “Or, try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns.” Douglas also says that he supports the Me Too movement and “I hope this movement continues to grow, but that there is care shown in who is accused and how the accusation is handled.”