Mark Halperin, the veteran political journalist and Game Change author who was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women this week, issued a lengthy apology Friday acknowledging that he caused “fear and anxiety” with his behavior toward women while working at ABC News, behavior which was “often aggressive and crude.”
“I am profoundly sorry for the pain and anguish I have caused by my past actions,” the statement begins. “I apologize sincerely to the women I mistreated.”
In the statement, Halperin admits to improper conduct while also describing steps he has taken to improve over the past decade. (He left ABC News in 2007.) “The world is now acknowledging what so many women have long known,” Halperin writes. “Men harm women in the workplace. That 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.”
He goes on to say, “I fully acknowledge and apologize for conduct that was often aggressive and crude.”
Halperin was accused of sexual harassment by five women in a CNN story published Wednesday, and several more women have come forward with their own allegations since then. Amid the allegations, both HBO and Penguin have scrapped Halperin-related projects.
In his Friday statement, Halperin writes of counseling sessions he took following his behavior at ABC News, and how different his conduct has been at subsequent jobs in the past 10 years. He also mentions that some of the allegations against him are not true, but that this is “a small point in the scheme of things.”
“Again, I bear responsibility for my outrageous conduct at ABC News,” Halperin writes. “I hope 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. I know I can never do enough to make up for the harm that I caused. I will be spending time with my family and friends, as I work to make amends and contributions both large and small.”