Affleck caught in Weinstein fallout, apologises for 'acting inappropriately'

Actor Ben Affleck has apologised for an incident in 2003 in which he "acted inappropriately" towards actress Hilarie Burton.

Burton was the host of MTV's TRL at the time; Affleck, who was on the program promoting a film, allegedly groped her breast.

The incident was partially captured on tape and has been discussed in the media since.

However it was raised again in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault levelled at Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein when Affleck lent his voice to a chorus of disapproval.

Ben Affleck concedes he "acted inappropriately" towards TV presenter Hilarie Burton during an interview in 2003. Photo: Richard Shotwell

Ben Affleck concedes he "acted inappropriately" towards TV presenter Hilarie Burton during an interview in 2003. Photo: Richard Shotwell

In a statement issued via a social media account, Affleck said he was "saddened and angered" by the Weinstein allegations.

Affleck's remarks prompted an exchange on social media in which a New York-based writer noted "he [Affleck] also grabbed Hilarie Burton's breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though."

Burton chimed in at that point with the words: "I didn't forget."

Affleck's response was speedy: "I acted inappropriately toward Ms Burton and I sincerely apologise," he said on social media on Wednesday.

Affleck also came under fire from Rose McGowan, one of the actresses who was the target of Weinstein's unwanted advances.

McGowan's remarks - "I told him to stop doing that, you said that to my face... you lie" - would seem to suggest that McGowan had confided in Affleck and that the 45-year-old actor had asked Weinstein to stop.

That would would jag slightly with the implication in Affleck's statement that he, like others, had only recently become aware of the issue.

"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades," Affleck's statement said.

"The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick."

In the last week a scandal has exploded around now-ousted Hollywood studio chief Harvey Weinstein in which details of decades of sexual harassment allegations have been made public.

Those revelations were followed by a bombshell report in The New Yorker magazine detailing at least three cases of alleged sexual assault.

Since then a number of high-profile Hollywood actresses, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have also come forward to say they were the target of Weinstein's harassment.

Others, such as Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, said that after rejecting Weinstein's advances they found it difficult to find work and alleged the studio boss had essentially acted to punish them.

This story Affleck caught in Weinstein fallout, apologises for 'acting inappropriately' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.