Michael Douglas Wants To “Get Ahead” Of Potential Sexual Misconduct Story

(CBS News) — Michael Douglas says he feels like he needs to “get ahead” of a potential sexual harassment story. The actor says a former employee is falsely accusing him of masturbating in front of her more than 30 years ago.

Douglas contacted Deadline, saying that he wanted to speak before any articles came out about the allegations. He said instead of waiting for a story to emerge he wanted to “share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns.”

Douglas said he was “floored” when The Hollywood Reporter contacted him, asking for comments after a woman told them the actor had vulgar conversations in front of her, blackballed her in Hollywood and masturbated in front of her. Douglas said that while he might have used vulgar language, he did not blackball her or masturbate in front of her. He said he eventually fired the woman “for the work she was doing.”

He said of the accusation, “I don’t know where to begin. This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever.”

Douglas said The Hollywood Reporter has contacted many people in his inner circle for comment, and he’s confident that his denial will not prompt more accusations from other women. He also told Deadline that he believes the accuser, who is a writer and blogger, wants to get a book deal out of the buzz.

The actor also added that he supports the #MeToo movement but is worried that there is no “due process” for the accused.

“I have always supported women, along the way. This is the kind of step that can set that movement back,” he said. “Being accused, without a chance [to defend yourself] in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself. There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.”

He continued and said, “I’m just happy to be able to present my story. I’m grateful to have the support of my wife and my kids who’ve had to share this with me. It has been a complete nightmare. It’s really hard to conceive that I have to defend myself against a situation that is 32 years ago, and it was not what they are saying it was.”

Douglas said it’s been very difficult for his children.

“The part that hurt the worst is having to share something like this to your wife and your children,” he told Deadline. “My kids are really upset, has to go to school worrying this is going to be in some article about me, being a sexual harasser. They’re scared and very uncomfortable.”