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Five women accuse veteran journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment: Report

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Multiple women say well-known journalist Mark Halperin propositioned co-workers at ABC News for sex, kissed, and touched them without consent. Halperin has apologized for any behavior that was "inappropriate and caused others pain." (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

In the course of his time at ABC News, journalist and co-author of Game Change, Mark Halperin, sexually harassed multiple women, according to report released Wednesday night which cites five women who claim to have endured the harassment.

"During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me," Halperin said in a statement obtained by CNN. "I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I'm going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation."

The harassment accusations uncovered by CNN allege Halperin propositioned employees for sex, kissed, and grabbed co-workers' breasts against their will and pressed his erect penis against them while clothed without their consent. Halperin denies grabbing a woman's breasts and pressing his genitals against three of the women.

Halperin, widely known in Washington for his political reporting career, has previously served as political director at ABC News, co-authored the bestselling book Game Change, which HBO picked up and made into a movie, and hosted a political analysis show on Bloomberg TV.

"For the last 11 years, I have had to watch this guy find success in every other news organization," one of the anonymous women who said she experienced harassment told CNN.

In 2011, Halperin made headlines after he was suspended from MSNBC for saying former President Barack Obama came off as "a dick" on "Morning Joe." His suspension was lifted after about a month.

The veteran journalist is currently an analyst for NBC News and co-host of Showtime's "The Circus."