Following a Wednesday evening report that detailed five allegations of sexual harassment against NBC News and MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin, the network is severing ties with him, at least for now.
Halperin, 52, is now a contributor to MSNBC and frequently appears on "Morning Joe" with former Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough (FL).
In a statement provided to Mediaite, MSNBC called the CNN story and allegations "very troubling", adding that "Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood".
Halperin, the co-author of best-selling book "Game Change", was accused in a CNN report of groping the women in the 2000s while he worked as ABC News' political director. One source who spoke to CNN said that Halperin propositioned low-level employees for sex while in his high-powered position, and a source said he even grabbed one woman's breasts against her will in the office.
A fifth woman told CNN that Halperin placed his erect penis against her body without consent while he was clothed.
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"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me", said Halperin in a statement to CNN. "I was obviously completely shocked". None of the women said Halperin ever promised things in exchange for sex, nor threatened retribution for rejection.
Some of the women have also shared her unfortunate occurrence with the media. "I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain", Halperin said. They have also chosen to remain anonymous out of embarrassment over what happened to them, and to protect themselves against Halperin's influence in politics and media.
Halperin has denied the charges of breast grabbing and pushing his genitals onto others at work.
Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexual harassment by five women, according to CNN.
Halperin co-hosted a political analysis show on Bloomberg TV, and produced and was featured in Showtime's The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, which followed presidential candidates during their 2016 election campaigns. We are going to be following this story as it develops. I'm sure we will be talking about it again when we know more about it.