5 months ago
Actor Ben Affleck has issued an apology after actress Hilarie Burton accused him of groping her breasts on camera during a 2001 appearance on MTV’s Total Request Live, which Burton hosted at the time.
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
The apology comes after footage of the incident surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday following a bombshell report from the New Yorker further detailing allegations of assault and rape against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Actor Rose McGowan, who allegedly received a $100,000 payout following an “episode” between herself and Weinstein in a hotel room, accused Affleck of being complicit in Weinstein’s behavior and failing to come forward about it before now.
@benaffleck “GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT” you said that to my face. The press conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie.
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 10, 2017
One user named Shanice Brim tweeted, “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though,” to which Burton promptly replied, “I didn’t forget,” then linked to the article in subsequent tweets.
I didn’t forget.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 10, 2017
The video, which was initially on YouTube but has since been blocked by Viacom, shows Burton describing the assault for the camera, with a clip of Affleck embracing her during his appearance on the show. Burton squeals in surprise before saying, “Yeah he pulled that move” through laughter; Affleck replies, “that’s his move, yeah.”
Burton on Tuesday said she had to “laugh back then” so she “wouldn’t cry.” She was 19 at the time of Affleck’s appearance.
Critics are also lashing Affleck because he spoke out against Weinstein, who backed the film that launched his career — Good Will Hunting — but has remained silent on allegations of sexual harassment waged against his brother, Casey Affleck.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the date of Affleck’s appearance on TRL.