The prominent Israeli journalist admitted that he was the man accused of sexual assault by Danielle Berrin, a Jewish-American news reporter.
Shavit, Berrin Photo credit: Hadas Porush, Flash 90/Channel 2 News
Israeli columnist and author Ari Shavit has revealed that he is the man accused of sexual assault by Danielle Berrin, a Jewish-American news reporter. In a statement on the Ha’aretz website on Thursday, just hours after the accusations were made public, Shavit apologized to Berrin and admitted that he had misinterpreted the situation.
“Over a year and a half ago, in February 2014, I met Ms. Berrin for an interview in Los Angeles,” Shavit wrote. “Now I sadly realize that I completely misinterpreted the interaction between the two of us in that meeting.”
In an article on the Jewish Journal last week, Berrin wrote about her encounter with “an accomplished journalist from Israel,” during which he allegedly invited her to his hotel room and touched her against her will. She added that the incident made her feel “threatened and powerless.”
“Up until reading the article she published, I sincerely thought we had had a friendly encounter which included elements of courtship. I never thought of it as sexual harassment,” Shavit wrote. “But what I viewed as courtship, Berrin viewed as inappropriate, harassing behavior on my part.”
“As someone who respects every man and woman, and as someone who is appalled by sexual harassment, I wish to apologize from the bottom of my heart for this misunderstanding,” he concluded. “I did not mean to do anything that was against Ms. Berrin’s consent, and I certainly did not mean to make her uncomfortable or hurt her feelings.”