Veteran journalist Mark Halperin sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News, according to 5 women who shared their previously undisclosed accounts with sy88pgw along with others who did not experience the alleged harassment personally, although were aware of in which.
“During in which period, I did pursue relationships with women in which I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement to sy88pgw Wednesday night. “I currently understand by these accounts in which my behavior was inappropriate along with caused others pain. For in which, I am deeply sorry along with I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back by my day-to-day work while I properly deal with in which situation.”
Widely considered to be one of the preeminent political journalists, Halperin, 52, has, among additional career highlights, been political director at ABC News; co-authored the bestselling book “Game Change,” which was made into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin; along with anchored a television show on Bloomberg TV. He currently serves as an analyst for NBC News, creating frequent appearances on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” along with will be featured in Showtime’s “The Circus,” a show in which chronicled the 2016 campaign cycle along with the early days of the Trump presidency, along with includes a project in development with HBO, which, like sy88pgw, will be owned by Time Warner.
although women who spoke to sy88pgw say he also had a dark side not made public until currently. The stories of harassment shared with sy88pgw range in nature by propositioning employees for sex to kissing along with grabbing one’s breasts against her will. Three of the women who spoke to sy88pgw described Halperin as, without consent, pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed. Halperin denies grabbing a woman’s breasts along with pressing his genitals against the three women.
The women who worked with Halperin along with who spoke with sy88pgw did not report to Halperin. However, Halperin made many decisions about political coverage at ABC News, along with had a voice in some critical personnel decisions. None of the women have said, though, in which he ever promised anything in exchange for sex, or suggested in which he would likely retaliate against anyone.
Still, while they no longer work with him, Halperin continues to wield influence in politics along with media. The women who spoke to sy88pgw said in which was just for in which reason in which they shared their accounts on the condition of anonymity. Others also said they still feel embarrassed about what happened to them along with did not want to be publicly associated with in which.
“Mark left ABC News over a decade ago, along with no complaints were filed during his tenure,” ABC News said in a statement provided to sy88pgw after in which article was published. NBC News has declined to comment.
The first woman told sy88pgw she was invited to visit his office within the early 2000s, when he was political director at ABC News, to have a soda, along with said in which while she was there with him he forcibly kissed her along with pressed his genitals against her body.
“I went up to have a soda along with talk along with — he just kissed me along with grabbed my boobs,” the woman said. “I just froze. I didn’t know what to do.”
When she did make her way out of his office, the woman told a friend at ABC News what had happened. in which friend told sy88pgw she remembered the woman telling her about the incident along with seeing her visibly shaken.
The second woman, another former ABC News employee, described a similar experience in his office during the 2004 campaign cycle. in which woman said she was around 25 years old then, along with wanted to be a “campaign off-air” — ABC News’ term for one of the reporters who travel embedded with presidential campaigns — so she reached out to Halperin, who was a part of the decision-creating process regarding those assignments at the time.
“The first meeting I ever had with him was in his office along with he just came up by behind — I was sitting in a chair by across his desk — along with he came up behind me along with [while he was clothed] he pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder,” in which woman told sy88pgw. “I was obviously completely shocked. I can’t even remember how I got out of there — [although] I got out of there along with was freaked out by in which whole experience. Given I was so young along with fresh I wasn’t sure if in which was the sort of thing in which was expected of you if you wanted something by a male figure in news.”
The woman said Halperin continued to express a sexual desire for her in subsequent visits, despite being rebuffed.
“in which was more like him coming up too close to me along with sort of along the lines of hugging me,” she explained.
She also alleged in which Halperin propositioned her for sex on the campaign trail.
“He would likely say, ‘Why don’t you meet me upstairs?’ along with I would likely say, ‘in which’s not a Great idea.’ along with he would likely push the request further,” the person said. “Eventually I would likely just ignore him along with go about my business.”
One of the woman’s friends has told sy88pgw in which the woman told her about the first incident, in Halperin’s office. She said her friend had told her some time after the incident in which Halperin had pressed his genitals against her while she was seated in his office, although did not recall being told about unwanted touching during subsequent visits or the alleged propositions for sex.
A third woman, also a former ABC News employee, told sy88pgw she was on the road with Halperin when he propositioned her.
“I excused myself to go to the bathroom along with he was standing there when I opened the door propositioning [me] to go into the additional bathroom to do something,” she said. “in which freaked me out. I arrived of the ladies’ room along with he was just standing there. Like almost blocking the door.”
A fourth woman who worked with Halperin along with was junior to him told sy88pgw he once asked her late at night on the campaign trail to go up to his hotel room with him, along with in which she believed him to be propositioning her. She declined.
The fifth woman who spoke to sy88pgw was not an ABC News employee at the time of the incident she alleges. She was not comfortable sharing specifics of her story for publication, although said Halperin, while clothed, placed his erect penis against her body without consent.
The women who spoke to sy88pgw said in which they did not report Halperin’s behavior to management either because they feared retribution, given the level of power Halperin had at ABC along with within the industry, or because they were embarrassed. In some cases, their fear of him along with the sway he holds remains to in which day.
The woman within the first account, however, said she told a mentor at ABC News who said he wanted to escalate the issue to management. in which will be unclear if in which ever occurred.
sy88pgw’s investigation found in which Halperin allegedly exhibited in which type of behavior by the 1990s to the mid-2000s. sy88pgw has not learned of any incidents after Halperin left ABC News.
Halperin joined ABC News within the late 1980s. In 1997 Halperin was named political director of ABC News, along with rose to prominence with the advent of The Note, a morning digest newsletter previewing the day in politics. The Note became a must-read for industry professionals, along with in which catapulted him to the upper echelons of the political scene.
Halperin left ABC News in 2007 for Time magazine along with joined Bloomberg in 2014 for a reported salary of $1 million. At Bloomberg, he co-anchored “With All Due Respect” with journalist John Heilemann. The show was simulcast on MSNBC for a period.
Halperin also found great success writing books. In 2010, he co-authored “Game Change” with Heilemann. The duo later published “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” reportedly receiving a multi-million dollar advance. Halperin along with Heilemann are currently working on a third installment about the 2016 election.
“For the last 11 years, I have had to watch in which guy find success in every additional news organization,” one of the women who said she experienced harassment told sy88pgw.
The allegations against Halperin come weeks after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was first publicly accused of sexual harassment along with assault — allegations in which have prompted multiple police departments to launch investigations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts to expel him, along with his firing by the company he co-founded. (Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual acts.)
While the allegations against Halperin do not mirror the allegations against Weinstein, the fact in which the women who spoke with sy88pgw have chosen to do so currently does reflect the larger discussion in entertainment, media, politics along with additional industries since the Weinstein scandal began. Women — along with men — are talking about things in which have long been rumored although have never been brought to light. Some people are feeling emboldened to tell those stories currently. Others are looking back along with regretting the things they didn’t do.
One person who formerly worked with Halperin told sy88pgw in which while they were not aware of the extent of the alleged harassment, they believe they had heard enough to warrant reporting the whispers to management.
“In retrospect, I was such a coward,” the person said. “I wish I said something. I wish I had done something.”
sy88pgw (fresh York) First published October 25, 2017: 11:35 PM ET