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Mark Halperin, a Top Political Journalist, Faces Multiple Claims of Harassment – New York Times

In a statement, Mr. Halperin denied any nonconsensual contact with the women who spoke to CNN, but he apologized for his behavior with his ABC News colleagues.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Mr. Halperin said through a spokesman. “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.”

Mr. Halperin left ABC News 10 years ago, and a network spokesman said on Thursday that no complaints had been filed about him during his tenure.

The speed with which Mr. Halperin lost major television and book projects — his account of the 2016 election was among the most anticipated publishing releases of next year — reflected a growing national discussion about the misbehavior of powerful men. Mr. Halperin’s role as a chronicler of the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump also put him at the center of an election that was defined by intense debates over gender, power, and the consequences of sexual harassment.

Like the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and the Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly — who were both forced from powerful perches this year by harassment scandals — Mr. Halperin was a gatekeeper in his industry, whose favor could mint careers and bring credibility to politicians, both current and aspiring.

His pioneering newsletter “The Note,” a political tipsheet that he started at ABC News, established him as an influential figure in the power circles of Washington and New York; who he quoted, and what stories he cited, mattered.

But it was his 2010 book “Game Change,” written with John Heilemann, that cemented the Halperin style. A juicy, melodramatic account of the 2008 presidential race, the book was adapted into an Emmy Award-winning HBO movie starring Ed Harris and Julianne Moore.

The book’s success — and the authors’ ability to infuse politics with reality show-like drama — led to contracts with Bloomberg News said to be in the $1 million range. The show Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann developed for Bloomberg, “With All Due Respect,” was a dishy and sometimes whimsical political talk show that failed to attract a wide viewership; it ended after Mr. Trump’s victory.

With Mr. Heilemann, Mr. Halperin also developed a political documentary series for Showtime called “The Circus,” which covered the 2016 campaign in real-time. On Thursday, Showtime said it had no record of allegations of untoward behavior by Mr. Halperin during his time on the series. The network said it would “evaluate all options” before signing on to another season of the show.

A spokesman for Mr. Heilemann said on Thursday that he had no comment about the allegations against Mr. Halperin.

MSNBC, in a statement, said that the allegations reported by CNN were “very troubling” and that Mr. Halperin would leave his role at the network “until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”


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Mark Halperin, a Top Political Journalist, Faces Multiple Claims of Harassment – New York Times

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