UPDATED with Morning Joe statement: MSNBC’s morning program co-host host Mika Brzezinski addressed the absence of show regular Mark Halperin at the top of Thursday’s program.

Now to a story that broke overnight involving someone you see around this table every day. CNN is reporting allegations regarding our friend Mark Halperin during his time at ABC News over a decade ago, unnamed sources detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior. Halperin apologized for the pain his actions caused and said “I will take a step pack from my day-to-day work while I properly address the situation. We are going to be following this story as it develops. I’m sure we are going to be talking about it again when we know more about it.

Previous: Five women have come forward to accuse NBC News analyst and veteran journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment. Halperin responded in a statement to CNN: “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me.”

He continued, “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

According to CNN, the harassment accusations from the anonymous women include propositioning employees for sex, kissing, and grabbing one’s breast without consent. Three women claimed that Halperin pressed his erection against their bodies. Halperin denied grabbing a woman’s breasts and pressing his genitals against these three women. None of the women reported to Halperin nor did he promise anything in exchange for sex.

Halperin is best known for co-authoring the bestselling book Game Change that was later adapted into an HBO movie which starred Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin. He previously worked as the political director at ABC News and frequently is seen on MSNBC’s Morning Joe as well as The Circus on Showtime.

The accusations come in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, as well as that at Fox News; they have  served as  catalysts for many women in the industry to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment.