Freeman fights back over claims

Morgan Freeman says he likes to compliment people to make them feel at ease around him but that he has never sexually assaulted women.

The Oscar-winning actor is fighting back against charges of bad behavior made by multiple women in a CNN report last week. He said in a statement late Friday that the report has devastated him and that “it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.”

“I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women, and men, feel appreciated and at ease around me,” Freeman said. “As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended.”

He said that he did not assault women, create unsafe work environments or offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex.

‘Sesame Street’ sues over McCarthy film

The makers of Sesame Street are suing the promoter of a new Melissa McCarthy movie, saying it’s abusing the famed puppets’ sterling reputation to advertise the R-rated film.

A judge Friday scheduled a hearing this week to consider a request for immediate relief by Sesame Workshop, which sued Thursday in federal court in Manhattan for unspecified damages and an order forcing the film to be marketed differently.

The film, The Happytime Murders, is scheduled for release Aug. 17. McCarthy plays a human detective who teams with a puppet partner to investigate grisly puppet murders.

The lawsuit said the Sesame Street brand will be harmed by a just-released movie trailer featuring “explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating and even ejaculating puppets” along with the tag line “NO SESAME. ALL STREET.”

Bosworth to host film school

Actress Kate Bosworth is helping to cultivate the movie industry in Montana.

Bosworth and her husband, director-screenwriter Michael Polish, are launching a two-week film school in July at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, with sessions taught by industry professionals.

In a tweet last week, Bosworth says the goal is to create a “hands-on approach to the moviemaking process.”

Polish and Bosworth were married in 2013 in Philipsburg and split their time between Los Angeles and a home in Bigfork.