Tuesday 17 October 2017

Ben Affleck apologises for groping actress during MTV show

Incident emerged after Batman star commented on sexual assault allegations levied against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein

Ben Affleck tweeted apology (Ian West/PA)
Ben Affleck tweeted apology (Ian West/PA)
Former One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck

Lucy Pasha-Robinson

Ben Affleck has issued an apology for acting "inappropriately" after actress Hilarie Burton accused him of groping her breasts on a 2003 TV show.

The actor was accused of "grabbing" One Tree Hill star Burton when they appeared together on MTV’s TRL.

The incident emerged after Affleck commented on the sexual assault allegations levied against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein from a number of women in the film industry.

The groping claim involving Burton resurfaced when a Twitter user wrote, in response to a tweet about Affleck's statement: "He also grabbed Hilarie Burton's breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though."

Former One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Former One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Burton then responded directly: "I didn't forget."

She also shared a video snippet that appeared to show the incident and wrote: "Girls. I'm so impressed with you brave ones.

"I had to laugh back then so I wouldn't cry. Sending love."

Hours later, Affleck tweeted: "I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize."

But the Batman star was hit with a barrage of criticism on social media, with users labelling him a hypocrite.

On Tuesday, as the furore surrounding Weinstein continued to grow, Affleck had said he was "saddened and angry" over the allegations.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein

He wrote: "I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades.

"The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughter.

"We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power."

Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the high-profile stars who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, which has seen him dismissed from the Weinstein Company and issue an apology.

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck

Weinstein has denied many of the allegations and issued a vehement denial over three allegations of rape which emerged on Tuesday.

Independent News Service

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