Why Michael Douglas' Sexual Harassment Accusations Are Different Than Before

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a former employee has accused Michael Douglas of sexual harassment. Earlier this month, the Behind the Candelabra star denied the harassment accusations to Deadline before they went public via The Hollywood Reporter.
Per THR, the harassment claim came from author and journalist Susan Braudy, who stated that she worked for the actor in the late '80s in the New York office of Douglas' Stonebridge Productions. There, she alleged she was subjected to "near-constant profane and sexually charged dialogue." She also claimed that Douglas once masturbated in front of her during a one-on-one script meeting.
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This particular #MeToo story is a bit unconventional, given that Douglas himself made the allegations public by denying the claims to Deadline. In an exclusive interview published on January 9, the Fatal Attraction star admitted that Braudy may have heard "colorful language," though he denied such language was directed at her. Douglas insisted that he did not "blackball" Braudy in the entertainment industry. He also called the masturbation allegation a "fabrication." He reiterated that statement to THR.
The Hollywood Reporter, which stated that it had carefully vetted Braudy's story as it had all other harassment allegations in the wake of the New York Times exposé on Harvey Weinstein, wrote in the Douglas piece that "Douglas' strategy didn't alter our vetting process," and that they "determined that both Braudy's story and his denial deserved to be published."
According to the THR piece, Braudy was able to back up her allegations against Douglas with "a detailed written account of her experience with Douglas based on notes and files she kept, a timeline of her employment (including pay stubs), and three people she told of her experience who were willing to back her publicly."
Douglas' wife Catherine Zeta-Jones spoke out about the accusations during the Television Critics Association press day on Sunday. Per Entertainment Tonight, she said:
"My reaction was that as two people who have been in this business — him longer than me — was that we support Me Too and the movement more than anybody, anybody — me as a woman, him as a man... There was no other way than to be preemptive in a story that had to be watched. He did a statement. I think it’s very clear the way that he stands. I cannot elaborate on something that's so very personal to him."
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Refinery29 has reached out to representatives for Michael Douglas for further comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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