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‘I felt the need to get ahead of this’: Michael Douglas preemptively responds to allegations of sexual misconduct, masturbating in front of female employee

The actor told Deadline that the Hollywood Reporter is planning to run a story based on the decades-old allegations

Oscar winner Michael Douglas has launched a preemptive strike – denying a woman’s allegations that he not only masturbated in front of her but blackballed her from Hollywood.

According to Deadline, the Romancing the Stone star, 73, was informed that the Hollywood Reporter was about to run a story accusing Douglas of sexual misconduct in the 1980s.

The unnamed accuser, Douglas said, once worked for his New York production company. He told Deadline that the trade paper contacted his lawyer around the Christmas holidays to request a comment about the allegations.

As of Tuesday morning, no such article has yet appeared on the Hollywood Reporter’s website. The New York Post reports that the publication did not respond to requests for comment.

Still, Douglas said he felt compelled to address the allegations.

“I felt the need to get ahead of this. It pertains to me but I’m also getting a sense of how it reflects in our culture and what is going on today,” he told Deadline.

“I see it as a cautionary tale.”

In the interview, Douglas discussed the woman’s allegations – that he used “colorful language” in front of her but “not at her,” and used raunchy language on phone calls conducted in the woman’s presence. Douglas also said that she claimed he fired her and then “blackballed her from the industry.”

The actor offered some context on the latter accusation, and denied blackballing her.

“She was a lady who was involved in development at my company, and we just didn’t have a good development record in the time she was there, so I just moved on,” Douglas told Deadline.

“I never blackballed her. If people from the industry called me to ask about her, I would have been honest, but I never blackballed her.”

The Fatal Attraction star was also accused of masturbating in front of her, Douglas said.

“I don’t know where to begin,” he said.

“This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever…”

Douglas also suggested that his accuser may be trying to pitch her story to less-reputable news outlets.

“It has been a complete nightmare,” Douglas said.

“It’s really hard to conceive that I have to defend myself against a situation that is 32 years old and it was not what they are saying it was.”

He added, “Being accused, without a chance (to defend yourself) in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself.

“There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.”

 

[Feature image: Associated Press/Michael Douglas]