27 October, 2017
Mark Halperin is parting ways with NBC News, where he has been a political analyst for years, after the publication of a CNN report in which five women accused the Game Change author of sexual harassment.
"For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize".
"We find the story and the allegations very troubling", an MSNBC spokesperson said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News.
The women told CNN that they were not Halperin's direct subordinates, but that he dictated the level and tone of political coverage and could make or break women's fortunes at the network.
The women, who asked to remain anonymous, said they didn't report Halperin's conduct because they feared retribution or were embarrassed.
Halperin says he pursued relationships, sometimes with junior co-workers, but CNN says he denies the groping allegations.
Halperin began working for ABC News in 1988 and was promoted to political director in 1997.
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Halperin has most recently been seen as an analyst on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", and the network said that he was leaving that role after the allegations of sexual harassment have surfaced against him.
The stories of harassment shared with CNN range in nature from propositioning employees for sex to kissing and grabbing one's breasts against her will.
"According to one of the women, "[Halperin] would say, 'Why don't you meet me upstairs?' And I would say, 'That's not a good idea.' And he would push the request further. "I didn't know what to do". Three of the women told CNN that Halperin had pressed his erection against them while meeting privately with him. "Under the circumstances, I'm going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation".
HBO said Thursday that it is spiking plans for a miniseries based on an upcoming book about the 2016 presidential election by Halperin and John Heilemann.
An ABC News spokesman said Halperin left the division more than a decade ago and that "no complaints were filed during his tenure".
CNN stated that although Halperin's actions are not on the same level as Hollywood predator and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein, Halperin was in a power position at ABC News and used it to womanize.