Michael Douglas has pre-emptively denied an allegation of sexual misconduct.
The actor spoke out after The Hollywood Reporter and Variety both contacted him about potentially publishing allegations of an incident claimed to have happened 32 years ago by a former employee.
“I felt the need to get ahead of this,” Douglas said, vehemently denying - among other things - masturbating in front of the unnamed woman.
In an interview with Deadline, Douglas claims that he was approached by THR before Christmas - with the allegations noting that the woman never directly accused Douglas of harassment.
Noting how the woman had apparently expressed that Douglas didn't harass or touch her, the reporter is claimed to have put the brakes on the story momentarily.
"My family had a lovely holiday, we came back and literally on the day of my arrival, The Hollywood Reporter got in touch with me and said, she’s running around, possibly trying to give this story to other people, so we’re going to run with it. I said, I don’t think that’s justification, just because you might get scooped, to run a story like this. My attorney did say they had been approached by Variety or somebody else, asking if there was anything going on.
"There is no corroboration, just that they found out somebody else might run the story."
Douglas has stated he wanted to get ahead of the potential story concerned it could ruin his five-decade career.
"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. Or, try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns. Again, I am sorry if I used coarse language with my friends. But this is really debilitating. It can have a large effect on my career."
He added: "I’d confess to anything I thought I was responsible for. And it was most certainly not masturbating in front of this woman. This reeks. I would have respected if she had reached out to me anytime over these years, to share her pain or concerns and I would have been the first one to respond. But this, going directly to the newspapers or whatever you want to call them, it just reeks of something else."
Douglas was notably absent from the Golden Globes on Sunday (7 January) despite his father, 101-year-old Kirk Douglas, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.
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