When Catherine Zeta-Jones agreed to appear on The View Friday morning, she must have known she would have to say something about the sexual misconduct allegation that has been levied against her husband, Michael Douglas.
The hosts began by asking her more broadly about the #TimesUp movement and the Golden Globes where she appeared alongside her father-in-law Kirk Douglas who had just turned 101 years old.
“As women, we’re great in numbers,” Zeta-Jones said. When the pendulum of progress slows down, she said that’s when “women have to be kind to each other” and “forge together and be strong” in the face of sexual abuse and gender inequality.
Despite winning an Oscar for the Harvey Weinstein-produced Chicago 15 years ago, Zeta-Jones said she—“thank the lord”—never had her own “#MeToo moment,” either with him or anyone else in the industry. “Unless it happens to you, you don’t know if it’s true or just talk,” she said. “These women coming out, it’s an eye-opener of the scale of how this happened.”
Eventually, Sunny Hostin broached the elephant in the room, which was the allegation that journalist and author Susan Braudy made against Douglas, whose production company she worked for in the late 1980s. It was during a script meeting at his apartment that Braudy alleges Douglas masturbated in front of her.
Earlier this month, 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.
Asked if she supported that move, Zeta-Jones said, “He had to come out preemptively because of what he believes.
“Look, I support this movement, #TimesUp, #MeToo, 110 percent,” she continued. It seemed like there might be a “but” coming, yet it never did. “Michael came out with that preemptive statement,” Zeta-Jones said. “He was articulate, said it from the heart, he was honest, open, and transparent—he now has to take the next step from where he goes from here. It’s a question for him.”
As Zeta-Jones stressed, the alleged incident happened 30 years ago. “It was B.C.,” she said. “Before Catherine.”
After letting the applause for that line die down, Zeta-Jones said that she hopes her daughter doesn’t “even have to think about” harassment when she enters the workforce. “Let’s not hold our breaths,” she said, “but hopefully.”