Morgan Freeman made his first public appearance since the trial of his granddaughter’s killer, as he attended an event in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The 81-year-old actor hadn’t been seen in months before the event, which was held to promote National Geographic’s The Story of God With Morgan Freeman at the The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California.
The Shawshank Redemption star’s appearance came less than a month after his step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines’ killer Lamar Davenport received a 20-year sentence in his first-degree manslaughter conviction after fatally stabbing her in August 2015 in New York City.
At the sentencing Davenport’s mother yelled ‘Morgan Freeman molested her and he caused this’ in reference to past accusations Freeman had denied.
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The latest: Morgan Freeman, 81, was seen in LA Sunday in what was his first public appearance in months in the wake of the murder trial for his daughter’s killer, amid past accusations he had molested her
During the trial, Davenport’s attorney Beth Unger said that Hines, an actress who had appeared in Freeman’s 2014 film 5 Flights Up, ‘disclosed to Lamar Davenport and others that [Freeman] engaged in a sexually-inappropriate relationship with her.’
In the January hearing, Davenport, 33, said he was sorry for the incident and didn’t ‘remember what happened’ in the killing of Hines, who he had dated.
Freeman was first linked to Hines in a 2009 National Enquirer report; he issued a statement in 2012 calling the allegations ‘defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers,’ while Hines called them ‘untrue’ and ‘hurtful’ in a statement.’
Stylish: The Driving Miss Daisy star wore an off-white suit with a purple button-down top while appearing on the panel
Tough times: It was the first outing in months for The Shawshank Redemption actor, coming less than a month after his step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines’ killer Lamar Davenport received a 20-year sentence in his first-degree manslaughter conviction
On The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, the actor ventures to the world’s holiest cities and speaks with various experts on the topic. On Sunday, Freeman was asked if he believed in God, according to Deadline, and responded, ‘Yes: Why do I? I’m God!’
The Academy Award-winning actor expounded on the topic, saying, ‘You laugh – I mean it. I believe the concept of God is the concept of human life.
‘Either there is God or there isn’t God’ said Freeman, who played the role of God in both 2003’s Bruce Almighty and the 2007 sequel Evan Almighty. ‘I believe there is, because there is me … I believe in me as having the power of God in me.’
Opening up: Freeman answered questions on the panel alongside producer James Younger
Ever-present: On the show, Freemnan ventures to the world’s holiest cities and speaks with various experts on the topic of God
Expert: Freeman has played the role of God in both 2003’s Bruce Almighty and the 2007 sequel Evan Almighty
Tragic end: Freeman in 2008 was snapped in NYC with his step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines, who was killed by her boyfriend in 2015
National Geographic temporarily had halted production on the series amid a probe of Freeman after accusations from eight women in a CNN report last May who claimed he’d past behaved inappropriately with them.
In August, National Geographic said that they would continue to work with the actor after ‘a thorough investigation led by our parent company Fox, executed through an independent investigator.
‘The results of this investigation revealed no incidents of concern during any of our work with Mr. Freeman,’ the company said. ‘We have now made the decision to move forward with the production of season three of The Story of God … as a company, we take all issues of harassment very seriously and we’re confidently assured by the results of the investigation.’
The Story of God premieres March 5 on National Geographic.