By Suzy Byrne, Yahoo Celebrity
Michael Douglas is speaking out about the sexual harassment allegation that was made against him in January.
Author and journalist Susan Braudy claimed that Douglas mastυrbated in front of her when she was his assistant in 1989. He categorically denied the accusation at the time and is still smarting over how it played out.
As a guest on the TBD With Tina Brown podcast on Dec. 11, which Us Weekly was able to preview, the Ant-Man and the Wasp star said, “I was extremely, extremely disappointed in The Hollywood Reporter,” which ran the story. He said the magazine “has been having a crusade in this area,” reporting on the #MeToo movement.
“Now, the way this generally works is, somebody makes a charge and then they, if they are responsible, reach out as they did to every person I worked with over 25 years — and they did, because everybody got back to me and there was nobody that ever complemented that accusation,” Douglas, 74, said. “So I thought it was really a misuse of power. Very disappointed.”
But at this point, it’s “all in the past,” the Academy Award winner said, adding, “It’s the way it goes.”
And he said false stories about him have been circulating for years, saying, “I was accused back when I was in 1990 of being a sex addict, when I went to rehab.”
Braudy had told THR, that she and Douglas were in a one-on-one script meeting at his New York City apartment when he allegedly unzipped his pants and began to pleasure himself. She also claimed he harassed her in other ways. Douglas came forward in the press to deny the allegations before the story even ran, calling it a “complete fabrication.”
In a recent interview the Times, Douglas’s wife since 2000, Catherine Zeta-Jones, recalled how their family, including their two children Dylan, 18, and Carys, 15, had a family discussion about the claims against Douglas.
“This woman came out of nowhere and accused my husband,” Zeta-Jones said. “I had a very big conversation with him, with the kids in the room, and said, ‘Do you understand if more comes out…’” She said that as someone who supports the #MeToo movement, she struggled a lot over it. “It was a really hard position for me and, in the height of it all, it was nasty.”
The whole family was affected by the allegation. “My children and I were profoundly devastated by those allegations. And I was torn about where my absolute morals lie,” Zeta-Jones said. “There was nothing to back it up at all.” For any accusation that comes out that isn’t backed up, that knocks the movement back 20 years.”