Casey Affleck "hates" being caught in MeToo controversy

Oscar winner Casey Affleck has opened up about being caught in the #MeToo controversy that saw him drop out as Oscars presenter at this year's ceremony.

Casey picked up the Academy Award for Best Actor during the 2017 ceremony, but his win prompted outrage when past allegations of sexual misconduct resurfaced last spring.

The actor previously faced two sexual harassment lawsuits by two female co-workers on his 2010 film I'm Still Here. Both cases were later settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Speaking this week, Casey shared his regrets that he had even been caught up in a lawsuit to begin with, saying that he wishes he could have been able to resolve the situation differently.

"First of all, that I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret," he told Press Association.

"I wish I had found a way to resolve things in a different way. I hate that. I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing and I didn't know how to handle it and I didn't agree with everything, the way I was being described, and the things that were said about me, but I wanted to try to make it right, so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time.

"And we all agreed to just try to put it behind us and move on with our lives, which I think we deserve to do, and I want to respect them as they've respected me and my privacy. And that's that."

He went on to address the wider #MeToo conversation, saying that he'd "learned a lot" from it and shared that he accepts responsibility for the "unprofessional environment" during filming for I'm Still Here.

"Over the past couple of years, I've been listening a lot to this conversation, this public conversation, and learned a lot," he said. "I kind of moved from a place of being defensive to one of a more mature point of view, trying to find my own culpability."

He continued: "The cast was the crew and the crew was kind of the cast and it was an unprofessional environment and, you know, the buck had to stop with me being one of the producers and I have to accept responsibility for that and that was a mistake.

"I contributed to that unprofessional environment and I tolerated that kind of behaviour from other people and I wish that I hadn't. And I regret a lot of that. I really did not know what I was responsible for as the boss. I don't even know if I thought of myself as the boss. But I behaved in a way and allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional. And I'm sorry."

Affleck also added that he's taken those lessons on as a parent too, saying that he encourages his sons to "own their mistakes", as well as sharing that he thinks dropping out of presenting the Best Actress award at the Oscars this year was the "right thing to do".

"Having two incredible women go present the best actress award felt like the right thing," he added.

Affleck will next be seen on screen alongside Robert Redford in The Old Man & The Gun, which will be released later this year.