CNN reported Wednesday night that political analyst and Game Change author Mark Halperin has been accused of sexual harassment by five women.
Halperin is accused of using his position of power at ABC News to pressure women for sex, kissing them against their will, touching them inappropriately and groping one woman's breasts. Three women told CNN that Halperin rubbed his erect penis against them through his clothes.
The women told CNN that they were not Halperin's direct subordinates, but that he dictated the level and tone of political coverage and could make or break women's fortunes at the network. They all have asked not to be named.
"None of the women have said, though, that he ever promised anything in exchange for sex, or suggested that he would retaliate against anyone," wrote CNN's Oliver Darcy.
Halperin, 52, is currently a contributor to MSNBC and frequently appears on "Morning Joe" with former Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough (FL).
"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," said Halperin in a statement to CNN. "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."
Neither ABC nor NBC commented on the allegations.