Catherine Zeta-Jones says she had “a very big conversation” with her husband after he was accused of sexual harassment
As someone who “110 per cent” supports the #MeToo movement, Catherine Zeta-Jones found herself in a difficult position recently when her husband, Michael Douglas, was accused of sexual harassment.
At the beginning of this year, journalist Susan Braudy, a former employee of Douglas, claimed that the actor had had inappropriate sexual conversations with her, and had once masturbated in front of her in an incident in 1989. She said he asked her to sign a confidentiality agreement soon after.
Douglas dismissed Braudy’s account as “a complete lie”. Now Zeta-Jones has spoken in more detail about how she and her family responded to the claims.
“My children and I were profoundly devastated by those allegations. And I was torn about where my absolute morals lie,” Zeta-Jones says, in a new interview with The Sunday Times.
“This woman came out of nowhere and accused my husband. I had a very big conversation with him, with the kids in the room, and said, ‘Do you understand if more comes out …’
“It was a really hard position for me and, in the height of it all, it was nasty,” she adds.
Zeta-Jones says Douglas reassured her and their two children over the allegations “by telling us that there is no story here and that time will tell”.
“And, of course, it did,” she continues. “There was nothing to back it up at all. For any accusation that comes out that isn’t backed up, that knocks the movement back 20 years.”
Talking about her relationship with Douglas, the actor says: “God knows we’ve had ups and downs in our marriage, but I don’t throw the towel in very quickly on anything. I’m not that person.
“Not that I would white-knuckle it until the day he drops dead. Or the day I drop dead, I’m not that stupid, either. […] I know it’s an old-fashioned way of thinking, but you’ve got to give it your best shot.”
Zeta-Jones won an Oscar for her lead role in the Harvey Weinstein-produced musical Chicago in 2003, but says she never experienced any harassment working with the disgraced Hollywood director.
“I’d be the first to say if something went on, but I only really knew Harvey Weinstein when I was married to Michael Douglas,” she says. “It made me less vulnerable […] not untouchable, because a predator is a predator, right?”