Ben Affleck has apologized for groping actress Hilarie Burton when she was a presenter on MTV show Total Request Live in 2003.
His actions came to light after the movie star released a statement condemning disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein for decades of alleged sexual abuse and harassment, as detailed in recent New York Times and New Yorker exposes.
Twitter users attacked Affleck for his comments and one recalled a moment he fondled Burton’s breast during an interview on TRL, stating: “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.”
Burton, who is married to actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, responded: “I didn’t forget”.
And when her followers reached out to support her, she added: “Seriously, thank you for that. I was a kid.
“Girls. I’m so impressed with you brave ones. I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry. Sending love.”
Footage of the moment Affleck groped the former TV personality has since gone viral, prompting the actor/director to address his past actions.
“I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize,” he tweeted on Wednesday (11Oct17), a day after he attacked Weinstein for his inappropriate behavior.
Affleck’s statement read: “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 (Tuesday) 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 daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”