MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski made additional remarks Friday regarding the suspension of political analyst Mark Halperin after multiple women came forward with accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him while he worked at ABC News.
As more allegations against the frequent "Morning Joe" round table guest continued to emerge following CNN's initial report on Wednesday night, Brzezinski said the case was "painful" and that Halperin was a friend, but the show would not ignore the story and would demand the truth.
"Mark and Karen have been a part of 'Morning Joe’s' extended family for years. They’re our friends," Brzezinski said, referring to Halperin and his girlfriend Karen Avrich. "And we believe it is important to stand with our friends for even the most difficult of times. But it’s even more important to demand the truth, even when the facts appear to be extremely painful."
Brzezinski said that she has spoken with and heard from some of the women who came forward to CNN Wednesday night and others who joined in the allegations Thursday and she said she does "feel their pain."
"We are at a pivotal moment in history where unacceptable, harassing behavior towards women will no longer be swept under the rug," Brzezinski said.
The "Morning Joe" host was quick to remind her audience of the U.S. judicial proceedings, mentioning that nothing of the claims had been found to be true thus far.
"We do remain a nation of laws where everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty, and nothing has been proven or adjudicated here," Brzezinski said. "But we’re also witnessing a larger movement of women speaking up about sexual harassment because the fear of being dismissed or not believed is melting away."
Brzezinski said that she and her co-host Joe Scarborough agree with Halperin’s suspension from the network but are disheartened to hear of the allegations and their "hearts break for Mark and his family."
"But we fully support NBC’s decision here," Brzezinski said.