10/01/2018 08:50 GMT | Updated 10/01/2018 12:20 GMT

Michael Douglas Preemptively Denies Sexual Harassment Allegations

'I felt the need to get ahead of this.'

Michael Douglas has spoken out to preemptively dismiss a story The Hollywood Reporter was planning to publish, in which he is accused of sexual harassment.

The ‘Wall Street’ actor says he reached out to Deadline after learning that a former employee was planning to publicly accuse him of sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of her more than 30 years ago.

Douglas told Deadline he deliberately wanted to “get ahead” of the story for the sake of his children.

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Michael Douglas
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Douglas at the 'Flatliners' premiere last year

Douglas’s decision to speak out comes following a wave of allegations against key figures in Hollywood, which started with a piece in the New York Times in which film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of varying levels of sexual misconduct (Weinstein has denied all allegations of “non-consensual sex”).

Speaking about the #MeToo movement, which has gained prominence in the wake of the Weinstein accusations and aims to lend a voice to victims of sexual harassment and abuse, Douglas said: “I support the #MeToo movement with all my heart. I have always supported women, along the way.

“This is the kind of step that can set that movement back. Being accused, without a chance [to defend yourself] in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself. There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.

“I find this whole thing really irresponsible and it hurts people who are supportive of this movement and who believe in it. This is my own personal taste. I don’t live in Los Angeles. I hope this movement continues to grow, but that there is care shown in who is accused and how the accusation is handled.”

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