News, Culture & Society

Mark Halperin accusers come forward and claim harassment

Hours after five anonymous women accused journalist and author Mark Halperin of sexual harassment and/or assault during his time at ABC News a sixth woman is publicly speaking out.

Emily Miller, a correspondent for One America News Network who served as Deputy Press Secretary at the US State Department under former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condelezza Rice revealed that she too was a victim of Halperin’s alleged harassment while working at ABC News as an associate producer.

She shared this on Twitter using the ‘#metoo’ hashtag that has continued to trend since last week and encourages both men and women to share their own tales of sexual harassment and assault.

‘To be clear, I was NOT one of the victims in this story about Mark Halperin. I was ANOTHER junior ABC employee he attacked,’ wrote Miller.

‘I did not report Halperin to ABC because I thought I was the only one, and I blamed myself, and I was embarrassed and I was scared of him.’

She also urged Twitter users to watch a 2013 segment of ‘Morning Joe’ that showed pro-gun Miller and Halperin debating firearm laws.


Mark Halperin

New allegation: Emily Miller (left)  said on Twitter that she was sexually harassed by Mark Halperin (right) while working at ABC News

For real: She then urged her followers to watch Halperin attack her during a 2013 'Morning Joe' segment in which he is seen acting petulant and combative (above)

For real: She then urged her followers to watch Halperin attack her during a 2013 ‘Morning Joe’ segment in which he is seen acting petulant and combative (above)

That segment quickly devolved however when Halperin began acting petulant and continued to repeat the same archaic question over and over again, despite drawing no support or interest from anyone else in the studio.

It was a clear attempt to play devil’s advocate, but he dragged it on for far longer than necessary, clearly in hopes of making Miller uncomfortable.

Making matters worse, every time Miller responded to one of Halperin’s questions he proceeded to cut her off by raising his voice and firing off another claim.  

At the same time, HBO has announced that they will no longer be working with Halperin on their previously announced ‘Game Change’ series about the 2016 election, which was set to serve as a follow-up to the HBO film based off his book of the same name. 

‘HBO is no longer proceeding with the project tied to the untitled book co-authored by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2016 Presidential election,’ said the network in a statement.

‘HBO has no tolerance for sexual harassment within the company or its productions.’

Halperin announced soon after the story broke that he would be stepping down from his post at MSNBC for the time being, and the network said in a statement: ‘We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.’

Showtime, which produces Halperin’s reality series ‘The Circus’ had no comment and said they were not aware of any allegations made while he was working for its network.

Showtime also pointed out that The Circus has not yet been renewed for another season. 

 SOL: HBO has now announced that they will no longer be developing and producing Halperin's planned 'Game Change' series about the 2016 election (l to r: John Heilemann, Sarah Paulson, Julianne Moore and Mark Halperin in 2012)

 SOL: HBO has now announced that they will no longer be developing and producing Halperin’s planned ‘Game Change’ series about the 2016 election (l to r: John Heilemann, Sarah Paulson, Julianne Moore and Mark Halperin in 2012)

This all comes a little over a year after a Morning Joe segment aired in which Halperin displayed a shockingly limited grasp on what qualifies as sexual harassment and assault.

In May 2016, an article in The New York Times included testimony taken from the 1996 deposition of Jill Harth, who worked with the Trump organization on beauty pageants in the early nineties.

‘Donald Trump stared at me throughout that meeting. He stared at me even while [her boyfriend] George was giving his presentation,’ said Harth.

‘In the middle of it he says to George, ‘Are you sleeping with her?’ Meaning me. And George looked a little shocked and he said, ‘Well, yeah.’ And he goes, ‘Well, for the weekend or what?”

George Houraney, Harth’s boyfriend, later explained to Trump that the two were monogamous. 

‘He said: ‘Well, there’s always a first time. I am going after her” said Jouraney of Trump’s response.

And that is just what he did when the three went to eat later that night according to Harth in her deposition.

‘Basically he name-dropped throughout that dinner, when he wasn’t groping me under the table,’ testified Harth. 

‘Let me just say, this was a very traumatic thing working for him.’

Halperin, after reading these textbook allegations of sexual harassment and assault, said: ‘There’s some troubling things in the piece, but there’s nothing illegal, there’s nothing even kind of like beyond boorish or politically incorrect, which is built into the Donald Trump brand.’

It is illegal for a boss to make sexual overtures towards an employee. It is also illegal for a boss to grope his employee under a table. 

Miller has not given any further details about the incident between herself and Halperin.

CNN foreign corespondent Clarissa Ward also commented on the sudden wave of claims about Halperin on Thursday, writing on Twitter: ‘This was an open secret when I was at @ABC for years- brave of these women to speak up.’

That quickly led to individuals attacking Ward for not speaking out, an argument that Ward was very quick to cut down.

‘Let’s be very clear- the one responsible for any sexual misconduct that may have taken place is the man who instigated it,’ explained Ward.

‘NOT the women who were victims of it, nor their friends and colleagues who tried to support them through it.’ 

Halperin said that he is ‘deeply sorry’ and is taking a ‘step back’ from day-to-day work to deal with the situation.

His statement came after allegations that her propositioned, fondled and pushed himself against five women in the early aughts while he was ABC News’ political director.

Halperin says he pursued relationships, sometimes with junior co-workers, but denied any allegations of groping or unwanted touching. 

One person who was not sad to see Halperin’s downfall meanwhile was the subject of his book ‘Game Change,’ Sarah Palin.

‘Finally. Talk about a true game change. Mark Halperin is one of the most unethical and dishonest men in America, as proven by the sick movie character he invented about me in attempts to destroy my reputation and record,’ said Palin in a statement.

‘It was pathetic watching all the liberal and even ‘friends’ in conservative news outlets cover his fake movie Game Change so enthusiastically, with such perversion.’ 

She went on to say: ‘This is evidence of the dark, disgusting nature that has heretofore ruled our media and political culture. But that shall change, as of now. Personally, this is part of the vindication I’ve prayed for – that hateful, lying critics would be revealed for who they really are. 

‘Thank God for answered prayers.’