Susan Braudy, the journalist and author accusing Michael Douglas of inappropriate sexual behavior, made her first television appearance on the matter through the Today show. “He thought he was the king of the world and that he could humiliate me without any repercussions,” she said in an interview that aired Friday.
In a statement to EW, Douglas called the claims “baseless” and “a complete fabrication,” and earlier this month, the actor tried to get in front of the story by preemptively denying the claims.
Braudy alleged that, during her employment under Douglas, she was subjected to profane and sexually charged language and demeaning comments about her appearance that culminated in the actor masturbating in front of her.
“This individual is an industry veteran, a senior executive, a published novelist and an established member of the women’s movement — someone with a strong voice now, as well as when she worked at my company more than three decades ago,” Douglas said in his statement. “At no time then did she express or display even the slightest feeling of discomfort working in our environment, or with me personally. That is because at no time, and under no circumstance, did I behave inappropriately toward her.
“Coarse language or overheard private conversations with my friends that may have troubled her are a far cry from harassment,” he continued. “Suggesting so does a true disservice to those who have actually endured sexual harassment and intimidation.”
On Today, Braudy described an alleged incident that occurred about 30 years ago. “He slid down to the floor, unbuckled his belt, and put his hands inside his trousers. And I could see what he was doing,” she stated. “And then he began to sort of fondle himself, and I was very scared.”
She also said she told some of her friends about the incident at the time, but that one of them said, “You better not tell people about him.”
“People were frightened for me,” she added.
Douglas had also preemptively denied the claims to Deadline, saying, “I can’t believe that someone would cause someone else pain like this. Maybe she is disgruntled, her career didn’t go the way she hoped, and she is holding this grudge. It has caused tremendous stress to me for something I believe I have nothing to regret or feel responsible for.”