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Just days after the New York Times published a shocking exposé against film producer Harvey Weinstein — which detailed decades of sexual harassment and rape allegations from actresses and Harvey’s female employees — some of the biggest names in Hollywood are speaking out. Ben Affleck was one of the many to condemn Harvey and his behavior in a statement posted to his Facebook page — but a lot of fans didn’t forget the time that Ben was accused of being a sexual predator when he allegedly groped TRL host Hilarie Burton. Now that the incident is back in the public eye, Ben has issued an apology.
But, Hilarie might not be the only woman Ben has groped. Makeup artist Annamarie Tendler recently tweeted that the actor groped her at a Golden Globes party in 2014. “I would also love to get an apology from Ben Affleck who grabbed my ass at a Golden Globes party in 2014. He walked by me, cupped my butt and pressed his finger into my crack. I guess he tried to play it like he was politely moving me out of the way and oops touched my butt instead of my lower back?
Like most women in these situations I didn’t say anything but I have thought a lot about what I’d say if I ever saw him again.”
Unfortunately, it sounds like Annamarie’s experience was similar to that of Hilarie’s back in 2003. Hilarie served as a TRL host between 2000-2004 when she was between the ages of 18-22, and as part of her hosting duties, she also interviewed the celebrities who showed up to show as guests. Though it is unclear if the incident in question happened on camera, Hilarie could be seen reflecting on it in a clip from a reel of the TRL Uncensored special.
“And he comes over and tweaks my left boob,” Hilarie told the cameras, demonstrating the way Ben had allegedly groped her. Later in the clip, Ben could be heard asking Hilarie, “How old are you — 19?”
The incident was brought up again after Ben, 45, shared a statement condemning Harvey on Facebook, which got a lot of criticism from fans on social media. “I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades,” he wrote.” The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers, and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
Hilarie Burton and her co-host La La interviewing Ben Affleck in 2003 on TRL.
Fans tweeted that Ben should not have spoken out against Harvey because of his own flawed past, and one fan tweeted, “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.” The former One Tree Hill star quickly responded and the fan said she was sorry about what Hilarie had gone through.
Seriously, thank you for that. I was a kid.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 11, 2017
“I didn’t forget. Seriously, thank you for that. I was a kid,” she wrote, thanking the fans for their kind words and sharing the TRL Uncensored clip from when she addressed the incident. “Girls. I’m so impressed with you brave ones. I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry. Sending love.”
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
Ben quickly got a ton of backlash online after Hilarie’s tweets started to circulate, and he took to Twitter to publicly apologize. “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize,” he wrote.