- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Just hours after Ben Affleck condemned Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein for using his “position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate” women, actress Hilarie Burton came forward to accuse the “Batman” actor of groping her on the set of MTV’s “Total Request Live” when she was 21 years old.

Five days after the initial news broke of numerous sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Weinstein and after increased pressure from his Hollywood counterparts, Mr. Affleck finally issued a carefully worded statement saying he was “saddened and angry” to learn that a man he worked with so closely over the years was capable of such behavior.

Actress Rose McGowan, whose $100,000 sexual harassment settlement with Mr. Weinstein was revealed by The New York Times, said Mr. Affleck was lying and that he knew full well about Mr. Weinstein’s lewd behavior back when they co-starred in the 1998 film “Phantoms.”

After a Twitter user suggested that Mr. Affleck “should’ve just kept quiet,” another Twitter user wrote, “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.”

Hilarie Burton, now 35, chimed in, tweeting, “I didn’t forget.”

“I was a kid,” Ms. Burtonadded.

The TV actress then tweeted a 2003 clip of “TRL” outtakes in which she said, “He comes over and tweaks my left boob,” apparently referring to Mr. Affleck. Later in the video, Mr. Affleck is shown asking her, “How old are you? 19?”

“Girls. I’m so impressed with you brave ones,” Ms. Burton wrote in the tweet. “I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry. Sending love.”

Mr. Affleck admitted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that he behaved “inappropriately” with Ms. Burton.

“I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize,” he wrote.

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