Catherine Zeta-Jones has said she confronted her husband Michael Douglas over allegations made by a former employee that he masturbated in front of her without consent.
The Oscar-winning actress, who is starring in Queen America, a new series for Facebook’s Watch streaming service in which she plays a bulimic beauty-pageant coach, told The Sunday Times she spoke to her husband about the allegation with her children by her side.
She said she was satisfied that there was “nothing” to the story after no further allegations came out against her husband.
Zeta-Jones and Douglas separated for over a year in 2012 as she was battling depression, but they got back together in 2014. However, their relationship was tested again in January this year when the former employee of Douglas accused him of sexual harassment, including masturbating in front of her during a script meeting in 1989.
Journalist and author Susan Braudy made the claims against Douglas, whose production company she worked for in the late 1980s.
Douglas gave an interview to preemptively deny the allegation once he became aware that it would be published soon. “This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever,” he told Deadline.
“My children and I were profoundly devastated by those allegations. And I was torn about where my absolute morals lie,” Zeta-Jones told 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 …’”
Zeta-Jones said: “It was a really hard position for me and, in the height of it all, it was nasty.”
She said that Douglas told her “there is no story here,” and “time will tell.”
Zeta-Jones says that ultimately her husband has been vindicated: “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.”
Zeta-Jones expressed her guilt in the interview for ignoring rumors about Harvey Weinstein, with whom she worked on her Oscar-winning role as Velma Kelly in Chicago.
“I’ve felt bad because you sensed things were going on but thought, ‘Well, it’s not happening to me.’ And that’s something you carry with you as a woman. I’m a woman’s woman and really feel that we should be protecting each other.”