Casey Affleck has spoken out for the first time since he avoided the Oscars amid sexual harassment allegations made against him.
The 42-year-old was sued for sexual harassment by two women who worked with him on the set of Im Still Here; both cases were settled out of court.
Affleck previously denied the allegations made against him by Amanda White and Magdalena Gorka – however, he has now apologised for acting unprofessionally on the set of the 2010 film.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Affleck said: It was an unprofessional environment … the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that. I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behavior from other people and I wish that I hadnt.
I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And Im sorry.
Speaking of the #MeToo campaign, he said that he needs to keep my mouth shut and listen and try to figure out whats going on and be a supporter and a follower in the little, teeny tiny ways that I can.
This is Afflecks first interview since he dropped out of presenting at the 2018 Oscars.
As tradition goes, the winner of the Best Actor Academy Award goes on to present the Best Actress award the following year. However, Affleck – who won for his role in Manchester By The Sea in 2017 – did not present the award at this years ceremony, with Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster instead presenting the award to Frances McDormand.
The actor said: I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment. And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing.
The father-of-two added that unless he is promoting a film, he will not be doing any more interviews. He is currently promoting the film The Old Man & The Gun.
Amanda White, the producer of Afflecks mockumentary Im Still Here, sued the actor for sexual harassment and the infliction of emotional distress.
White claimed that Casey instructed a male crew member to show her his penis, despite her objections. The lawsuit read: Affleck repeatedly referred to women as “cows”; he discussed his sexual exploits and those of other celebrities that he allegedly witnessed; and asked Plaintiff, after learning her age, “Isnt it it about time you get pregnant?” Affleck inappropriately suggested that Plaintiff and a male crew member have a baby together.
White also alleged that Affleck attempted to manipulate her into staying in a hotel room with him, and when she refused, he allegedly grabbed her in a hostile manner.
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In another lawsuit, cinematographer Magdalena Gorka alleged that the treatment she received while working with Casey was the most traumatising of her 16 year career.
Gorka alleged that Affleck routinely made sexual comments towards her, and said that he climbed into bed with her after she stayed along with other crew members at Affleck and Im Still Here star Joaquin Phoenixs apartment.
Affleck denied the allegations, and told the New York Times in 2016: It was settled to the satisfaction of all. I was hurt and upset — I am sure all were — but I am over it. It was an unfortunate situation — mostly for the innocent bystanders of the families of those involved.
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