Vincent Cirrincione and Halle Berry pose at a screening of HBO's 'Lackawanna Blues' at the Directors Guild of America on February 3, 2005 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Vincent Cirrincione, the former manager of Halle Berry and current manager of Taraji P. Henson, has been accused of sexual harassment by nine women, according to The Washington Post.

The women said that they wanted Cirrincione to manage them because of his success with actresses of color. Eight of them are African-American, and one is Asian-American.

Most of them said that Cirrincione refused to represent them unless they agreed to sex with him whenever he asked for it. One woman accused him of masturbating in front of her in his office.

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One of the accusers, Tamika Lamison, said that she was 27 when she was invited to audition for Cirrincione at a hotel. At the time, she was a stage actress, and she began to recite a poem. But partway through the poem, she said that he “started kissing her, sticking his tongue in her mouth.” He offered to be her manager in exchange for sex, but she “pushed him away and left.”

 

Berry and Henson respond

Both Berry and Henson told the Post that they had never seen this kind of behavior from Cirrincione.

“While Vince never made an inappropriate gesture toward me, nor did I hear about this type of behavior from any woman or man while we worked together, I have always had a no-tolerance policy when it came to such matters,” Berry said. “My heart goes out to any person who is subject to this type of behavior, and I stand in support of their strength and bravery.”

On Twitter Berry went on to say, “Yesterday I was saddened by the (allegations) against my former manager, Vincent Cirrincione, but today I’m sick after reading the horrifying detailed accounts of his abuse toward 9 women.

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“I’m livid that he used me, and the role model he helped me become, to lure and manipulate innocent, vulnerable women of color for his predatory actions.

“I’m deeply hurt and I want these women and countless others to know I see you. I hear you. You matter. I will fight for you,” she added.

Henson described Cirrincione as a “father figure” who would “pay for her rent, child-care fees and later, her son’s school tuition.”

“I’ve never had any issue with this on any level,” Henson said. “He totally respected me…He saw a single mother trying to make her dreams come true, and he nurtured that. He wrote checks and wouldn’t ask for anything in return. It wasn’t coming from a creepy place. If anything, it empowered me. Like this man believes in me. I love him for that.”

Cirrincione’s response

Cirrincione responded to the Post saying that he “accepts responsibility for pursuing sexual relationships but denies allegations that he sought sexual favors in exchange for representing actresses.”

He specifically said that he is a big supporter of the #MeToo movement in his response.

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“We live in a time where men are being confronted with a very real opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. I support this movement wholeheartedly. I have had female clients and employees my entire career in this industry. I have built a reputation for advancing the careers of women of color,” he said.

He went on to say that while he was certainly guilty of having affairs, he had not assaulted anyone.

“I have had affairs while in committed relationships, ones I am now ashamed to say are coming to light and shading my past and my reputation. I can say without a doubt that I have never used favors, sexual or otherwise, as a reason for managing anyone. I want to make it clear that not one of those relationships were anything but consensual,” he said.

“I take responsibility for my part in the situation and I am not here to diminish anyone’s feelings or experiences. I apologize to these women, my past and present partner, my clients and employees for the pain this is bringing them. I was under the impression I was living my life as a supportive man to women. It is with a heavy heart that I see now I was wrong.”