Three more women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against political journalist, commentator, and Game Change author Mark Halperin, totaling the current number of accusers to eight.
On Thursday morning, conservative writer Emily Miller wrote on Twitter that she, too, had been harassed by Halperin at ABC News. Tweeting a link to the CNN report in which five journalists alleged Halperin made unwanted sexual advances (including, while clothed, rubbing his erection against three women), Miller wrote, “To be clear, I was NOT one of the victims in this story about Mark Halperin. I was ANOTHER junior ABC employee he attacked.”
“I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him,” she continued.
Another journalist, who wishes to remain anonymous, has come forward to the Daily Beast. She alleges that Halperin harassed her about a decade ago when they worked at ABC News:
One day, she recalled, Halperin invited her to his office for what she believed to be a professional meeting. She arrived to a completely empty room. “I was about to sit down to begin the meeting, and he closed the door, and all of the sudden was standing right in front of me—so close he was basically touching me.”
The woman further recounted: “He started lunging at me and I had nowhere to go. I told him something like, ‘Don’t do that,’ and said ‘I’m not comfortable with the door closed,’ but he had backed me into a corner. I opened the door and ran out.”
She said Halperin never threatened to retaliate after that incident, but noted that while she avoided him as much as possible, he returned to making casual passes at her. “Just shameless,” she said. “It felt like it was normal for him. You got the sense that it was like he’d get what he wanted if he tried enough.”
Former CNN producer Eleanor McManus wrote, in a CNN op-ed published Thursday night, that she almost didn’t enter the industry because of a disturbing interaction with Halperin just after college. While at ABC News, he had offered to meet with her to give her career advice. But when she arrived at his office, Halperin allegedly sexually harassed her, instead:
I don’t quite remember what we talked about, but I do remember him asking me to sit down next to him on the couch. I thought it was awkward to sit on the couch when I was perfectly comfortable sitting in the chair across from his desk. But I complied, and I also remember him sitting a little too close to me.
At one point I felt a bit too uncomfortable, and I stood up to thank him for the meeting. That’s when he leaned in, tried to kiss me, and attempted to do a bit more. I didn’t want to offend the man in charge of political programming at ABC News, and I tried to be courteous and apologetic, and practically ran out of the office. I was upset not by his actions, but the thought that I did something wrong to encourage that behavior. Was my suit too revealing? Did I lead him on? Was this what I had to expect if I went into broadcast news or journalism? If so, I didn’t want any part of it.
Luckily, I was resilient back then and I didn’t let this situation detour my hopes and dreams. I moved to Washington, DC and studied journalism full-time. When I finally landed a position at CNN on “Larry King Live,” I booked celebrities, politicians, and all sorts of newsmakers. One person I vowed never to book on the show was Mark Halperin. If that was my only payback, then so be it.
All of the allegations against Halperin date between the 1990s and mid-2000s during his tenure at ABC News, where he rose to political director. Like Harvey Weinstein, Halperin’s alleged treatment of women was an apparently an “open secret” in the media:
Networks have responded swiftly, with HBO and MSNBC announcing on Thursday that they are cutting ties with Halperin. HBO will no longer pursue its project based on the book by Halperin and John Heilemann about 2016 Presidential election. “HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions,” the network said through a spokesperson.
NBC suspended Halperin on Thursday and MSNBC will no longer invite Halperin on as a contributor. “We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood,” said an MSNBC spokesperson.
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed with NBC’s decision. “I will speak for both Joe and myself here: Our hearts break for both Mark and his family, because he is our friend,” she said, addressing the allegations on the program. “But we fully support NBC’s decision here.
“We want to know more about these disturbing allegations. We want to hear the stories. We need to know what happened. And we’re not going to avoid the story just because he’s our friend…we’re going to cover it and we’re going to pray for everybody involved,” she said.
On Thursday, Halperin admitted to “inappropriate” behavior. “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain,” he told CNN. “For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”
Jezebel has reached out to Halperin for comment on the new allegations and will update if we hear back.