Hollywood actor, Ben Affleck has issued an apology for acting “inappropriately” after actress Hilarie Burton accused him of groping her breasts on a 2003 MTV show.
The Batman star tendered the apology after he was called a hypocrite for commenting on sexual assault allegations levelled against Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein.
As the furors surrounding Weinstein continued to grow, Affleck said he was “saddened and angry” over the allegations.
Affleck was accused of “grabbing” One Tree Hill star Burton when they appeared together on MTV’s TRL.
The groping claim involving Burton resurfaced when a Twitter user wrote, in response to a tweet about Affleck’s statement: “He also grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though.”
Burton then responded directly: “I didn’t forget.”
She also shared a video snippet that appeared to show the incident and wrote: “Girls. I’m so impressed with you brave ones.
“I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry. Sending love.”
Hours later, Affleck tweeted: “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”
But the Batman star was hit with a barrage of criticism on social media, with users labeling him a hypocrite.
He wrote earlier: “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.
“Weinstein allegations highlight ‘systemic’ disrespect of women in film.
“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 daughter.
“We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behaviour when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power.”
Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the high-profile stars who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, which has seen him being dismissed from the Weinstein Company.
Weinstein has denied many of the allegations and issued a vehement denial over three allegations of rape which emerged on Tuesday.