Mark Halperin, a veteran political journalist who has made a fortune off of covering the rises and falls of various U.S. political figures, has been cut loose from MSNC after five women came forward to detail sexual harassment claims against him, according to CNN.
The claims came from Halperin’s days at ABC News, where he worked as director of political coverage. Five anonymous women (and others who did not experience harassment firsthand but said they were aware of it) said Halperin propositioned other employees for sex, grabbed a woman’s breasts against her will and other disgusting actions.
In a statement, Halperin said: “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. 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.”
Halperin is a revered political reporter whose book about the 2008 U.S. presidential election Game Change was turned into an HBO movie starring Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. His follow-up book about the 2016 U.S. presidential election has been set to be adapted into a series by HBO, although those plans are bound to come under some scrutiny now.
“We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” said an MSNBC spokesperson. “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”