“I am profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions. I apologize sincerely to the women I have mistreated,” he wrote.
He added, “The world is now publicly acknowledging what so many women have long known: Men harm women in the workplace. The new awareness is, of course, a positive development. For a long time at ABC News, I was part of the problem. I acknowledge that, and I deeply regret it. As I said earlier in the week, my behavior was wrong. It caused fear and anxiety for women who were only seeking to do their jobs.”
Halperin was accused by five women of harassment in a CNN piece on Wednesday. Since then, other women have gone on the record with their stories. One of the five women in the CNN piece, Lara Setrakian, now the CEO of the media outlet News Deeply, went public in an op-ed that was posted on the Washington Post website on Friday afternoon. She recounted when she was a junior reporter at ABC News in 2006 and he was running midterm election coverage. He left the network in 2007.
She wrote, “We can’t expect the culture of our newsrooms to get better if we’re not honest about what’s happening. We can’t pretend these incidents are isolated to a few salacious cases at Fox News or call out other flawed industries and institutions with self-righteous indignation. We have to clean our own house.”
Halperin wrote that he sought counseling for his behavior around the time that he left ABC News.
In the wake of the accusations, Halperin was sidelined in his role as an analyst at NBC News, and HBO canceled plans to make a project based on the next “Game Change” book he was planning with co-author John Heilemann. Penguin Press, which was set to publish their book, about the 2016 campaign, also dropped plans. Showtime said that it is evaluating “all options” when it comes to the future of “The Circus,” the political docuseries that stars Halperin, Heilemann and political consultant Mark McKinnon.
Halperin wrote that “some of the allegations made against me are not true. But I realize that is a small point in the scheme of things. Again, I bear responsibility for my outrageous conduct at ABC News.”
He added that he hoped “that not only will women going forward be more confident in speaking up, but also that we as an industry and society can create an atmosphere that no longer tolerates this kind of behavior.”
CNN also reported that four other women have accused Halperin of sexual misconduct, including that he masturbated in front of an ABC News employee and that he threw another woman against a restaurant window before trying to kiss her. Halperin denied those details to CNN. A dozen women have now relayed their stories of sexual harassment or assault by Halperin.
See Halperin’s full statement below.