Mark Halperin, a veteran journalist who co-wrote the book "Game Change" about the 2008 presidential election, has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women while he worked at ABC News, according to a report by CNN.
Five women told CNN's Oliver Darcy that Halperin propositioned employees while in a powerful position at ABC. Three women accused Halperin of pressing his genitals against them while clothed, and one said he grabbed her breasts against her will. He has denied those allegations to CNN.
"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," Halperin told CNN in a statement Wednesday night. "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."
Halperin, 52, has held several senior positions at many prestigious news outlets and is currently a senior political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He co-wrote the book "Game Change" in 2010, which was turned into an HBO film two years later starring Julianne Moore as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
The women, who asked CNN to keep their identities private, did not report Halperin to ABC management out of fear of retribution. None of the women told the outlet that Halperin threatened to retaliate against them or promised anything in exchange for sex.
"Mark left ABC News over a decade ago, and no complaints were filed during his tenure," ABC News told CNN in a statement.
The allegations are the latest in a string of sweeping news reports that have sent shock waves through the media industry, beginning with an Oct. 5 report in The New York Times that alleged film executive Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed and assaulted women for decades. And Amazon Studios head Roy Price resigned earlier this month, after a producer publicly accused him of sexual harassment.
Read CNN's full report here.