Michael Douglas has issued a denial of claims of improper sexual conduct – before the allegations have even been made in the public realm.

The 73 year old Hollywood star spoke to Deadline on Wednesday (January 10th) and explained that he “felt the need to get ahead” of the situation and get his side of the story over before anything was published.

Douglas explained that his lawyer had contacted him in December with details of a female former employee who was set to accuse him of performing a sex act in front of her more than 30 years ago.

“This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever,” he told the interviewer, detailing that the potential accusation included a claim that he had “blackballed” the former employee so she couldn't get another job after he fired her, and that he used “colourful language” in front of her.

Michael DouglasMichael Douglas has pre-emptively denied a claim of sexual misconduct

“It's extremely painful,” continued Douglas. “I pride myself on my reputation in this business, not to mention the long history of my father and everything else. I don't have skeletons in my closet, or anyone else who's coming out or saying this. I'm bewildered why, after 32 years, this is coming out, now.”

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He said that he had gone to the press because he felt he “had the choice of waiting for a story to come out” and trying to defend himself, or to “share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns”.

The woman concerned is apparently a writer, but hasn’t been identified. “I've worked with women my entire life. It has never been an issue.” He said there was no evidence against him, adding: “I can only imagine this has come up to hurt someone, or to benefit someone in a book deal so they can write a chapter on me.”

Douglas, who is next set to appear in a film in Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018, said that he was wholly supportive of the #metoo movement, but warned that “this is the kind of step that can set that movement back… Being accused, without a chance [to defend yourself] in court. To not even really have the information in front of you, to be able to argue or defend yourself. There is no due process, no chance of seeing evidence in front of me from my accuser. It worries me.”

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