Casey Affleck speaks out on sexual misconduct allegations: ‘I behaved in a way that was really unprofessional’

The actor and filmmaker settled two civil lawsuits relating to claims about his behaviour during the making of 'I'm Still Here' in 2010

Casey Affleck has spoken out about the sexual misconduct allegations made against him in his past, saying he had “behaved in a way that was really unprofessional.”

The actor settled two civil lawsuits relating to his behaviour on the set of I’m Still Here in 2010. However, the allegations resurfaced after he was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars in 2017 for his role in Manchester By The Sea.

Speaking to Associated Press, Affleck passed rare comment on the claims levelled against him. “First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret,” he said. I wish I had found a way to resolve things in a different way. I hate that. I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing, and I didn’t know how to handle it and I didn’t agree with everything – the way I was being described and the things that were said about me.

“But I wanted to try and make it right, so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time,” he continued. “And we all agreed to just try to put it behind us and move on with our lives, which I think we deserve to do, and I want to respect them as they’ve respected me and my privacy. And that’s that.”

The actor said he had been listening to the “public conversation” around the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and had “learned a lot.” “I moved from a place of being defensive to one of a more mature point of view, trying to find my own culpability,” he said. “And once I did that I discovered there was a lot to learn. I was a boss [on I’m Still Here]. I was one of the producers on the set.

Casey Affleck sexual misconduct

Casey Affleck

“The cast was the crew and the crew was the cast, and it was an unprofessional environment. The buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that and that was a mistake. And I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behaviour from other people and I wish that I hadn’t. And I regret a lot of that. I really did not know what I was responsible for as the boss.”

He added: “I don’t even know if I thought of myself as the boss. But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I’m sorry.”

Asked about Manchester By The Sea director Kenneth Lonergan’s comments that implied he thought the star had been treated unfairly, Affleck replied: “Whether I have or haven’t, I think that there are people in the world who deal with much greater hardship than that. And they do so without complaint. So I don’t think I need to say anything else about it.”

He also added that his decision not to present the award for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars was “the right thing to do.” It is tradition for the previous year’s winner of Best Actor to present the award. Jodie Foster and Jennifer Lawrence presented the award instead.

“I think it was the right thing to do just given everything that was going on in our culture at the moment,” he said. “And having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing.”