“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski said on Friday morning that she and Joe Scarborough’s “hearts break” for disgraced former panelist Mark Halperin after at least a dozen women stood up to accuse the political pundit of sexual harassment or assault in the past two days.
“I’ll speak for both Joe and myself here—our hearts break for Mark and his family because he is our friend. But we fully support NBC’s decision here,” Brzezinski said, in reference to the network’s decision to oust the man.
“We want to know more about these disturbing allegations. We want to hear the stories. We need to know what happened. And we are not going to avoid the story just because he’s our friend. We’re going to cover it, and we’re going to pray for everybody involved.”
CNN interviewed five women who accused Halperin of sexually assaulting or harassing them while he was the political director at ABC News; three more women came out with similar accusations on Thursday. The Washington Post spoke to nine women.
Brzezinski brought up “more disturbing reports regarding Mark Halperin’s treatment of younger female co-workers” that have come to light “over the past 24 hours” and said there may be a “possible pattern of unacceptable conduct.”
“There’s something I need to say,” began Brzezinski, looking extremely concerned. “Mark and Karen [Avrich, Halperin’s wife and the mother of their infant son] have been a part of Morning Joe’s extended family for years. They’re our friends and we believe it’s important to stand with our friends through even the most difficult of times. But it’s even more important to demand the truth even when the facts appear to be extremely painful.”
Brzezinski said she and Scarborough agreed with the network’s decision to kick the NBC News and MSNBC political analyst off the air.
The television personality said that she has “spoken to and heard from some of these women” and claimed to feel “their pain.”
Halperin has been accused of, among other things, “placing his erect penis” against women without their consent, making subordinates sit on his lap while he had an erection, lunging at women, aggressively propositioning and trying to kiss women without their consent, and grabbing a woman’s breasts.
Halperin’s heinous behavior was reportedly an “open secret,” which is the new buzzword throughout the industry, as more and more celebrities are called out on their misogynistic ways in the workplace. Revelations like this lead to questions about whether the “Morning Joe” co-hosts also knew about his predatory behavior.
Left-wing anchor Keith Olbermann suggested that it is laughable to think Scarborough did not know about Halperin’s “sleazebag” reputation.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 26, 2017
— Clarissa Ward (@clarissaward) October 26, 2017
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