MSNBC Political Analyst Accused Of Harassing 5 Women, Quits Job After Apology

Journalist Mark Halperin is accused of sexually harassing five women: report

MSNBC has pulled Mark Halperin, a veteran political journalist, off the air after five women accused him of sexual harassment during his time as a top ABC News executive from the 1990s to the mid-2000s.

Currently, Mark Halperin works as an analyst for NBC News, where he makes frequent appearances on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and is featured in Showtime's "The Circus". "Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood", the cable network said in a statement.

The five unidentified women who spoke with CNN say the alleged harassment occurred while Halperin was working as the political director of ABC News.

Another woman says Halperin cornered her as she exited a bathroom, propositioning her to enter another bathroom. Three women said Halperin pressed up against them while having an erection.

"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me", said Halperin, who serves as a political analyst on NBC and MSNBC's "Morning Joe". "I was obviously completely shocked".

The women who worked with Halperin and who spoke with CNN did not report to Halperin. "I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain", Halperin said.

Another woman shared a similar account, saying she was seated in his office when he approached from behind and "pressed his body on mine, his penis, on my shoulder", she told CNN. 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.

The co-author of the bestselling book "Game Change" told CNN Wednesday night that he's "deeply sorry" and is taking a "step back" from day-to-day work to deal with the situation. We are going to be following this story as it develops.

In a statement, Halperin, whose 2010 book "Game Change" was made into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore, admitted that his behavior was "inappropriate". "Given I was so young and new I wasn't sure if that was the sort of thing that was expected of you if you wanted something from a male figure in news".

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