Actor Michael Douglas has issued a pre-emptive denial of accusations that he committed a sex act in front of a female employee three decades ago.
“She claims that I masturbated in front of her,” the 73-year-old Oscar winner told Deadline magazine. “This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever.”
Douglas said he was issuing the denial after being told by his attorney that The Hollywood Reporter planned to publish a story about the allegations.
Another Hollywood star, James Franco, denied meanwhile that he had engaged in sexual misconduct after accusations surfaced on social media.
“The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long,” Franco said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“So, I don’t want to shut them down in any way. I think it’s a good thing and I support it,” Franco said.
Franco was referring to the deluge of sexual misconduct allegations brought about by the downfall of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Douglas, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for “Wall Street” in 1988, said the woman, who was not identified, also alleged that he had used “colorful language” in front of her and “blackballed” her.
“She may have overheard private conversations, and if she was offended, she could have excused herself,” he said.
“As far as blackballing her, that was completely untrue.
“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,” he said. “I never blackballed her.”
“I pride myself of being so supportive of the women’s movement,” Douglas added. It’s extremely painful. I pride myself on my reputation in this business.”
Franco, 39, told Colbert that he had no idea why actress Ally Sheedy had criticized him on Twitter.
Sheedy, in tweets later removed, said she did not understand how Franco was allowed to attend Sunday’s Golden Globes, where he won a Best Actor award for “The Disaster Artist.”
“Please never ask me why I left the film/TV business,” Sheedy tweeted after Franco got his Golden Globe.
“First of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy,” Franco said. “I directed her in a play off-Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her — total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset.”
Franco also said that “if there’s restitution to be made I will make it.”
“If I’ve done something wrong I will fix it,” he said.