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Former ABC Newser: Halperin’s Harassment ‘Open Secret’ at Network ‘For Years’ (UPDATED)

CNN senior correspondent Clarissa Ward said on Thursday that Mark Halperin’s alleged sexual harassment was an “open secret” at ABC News “for years.”

Ward — who was an international correspondent for ABC News from 2007 to 2010 — took to Twitter to respond to the CNN report that spoke with five women who accused the now NBC News analyst of sexual harassment while he was at the news network:

Halperin is accused of harassing a number of ABC News employees when he was the network’s political director in the 1990s. His behavior ranged from “propositioning employees for sex” to “kissing and grabbing one’s breasts against her will.” Three of the women accused him of “pressing an erection against their bodies while he was clothed.”

A statement issued Thursday morning by MSNBC and NBC said Halperin “is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

Ward’s remark that Halperin’s conduct was an “open secret” at ABC News comes after news of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of sexual assault and harassment rocked the entertainment world. His behavior was also described by many inside Hollywood as an “open secret.”

[image via screengrab]

UPDATE 1:11 p.m. EST: Ward again took to Twitter on Thursday to fire back at those who have been criticizing her for not calling out Halperin’s conduct earlier. In doing so, she provided some much needed perspective:

Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

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