In an interview released on Tuesday, actor Michael Douglas told Deadline that there’s a sexual harassment allegation against him being brought to different media outlets, but he wanted to get his side of the story out first. His side? There is no story.

When Douglas found out that an employee he had from over 30 years ago was telling publications that he once masturbated in front of her, he didn’t wait for the story to be printed and the likely consequences that would follow it. Instead, with the support of his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, he denied the allegations to Deadline before they were ever shared with the public.

“Masturbating in front of her,” he said. “I don’t know where to begin. This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth to it whatsoever.”

The most difficult aspect of this situation for him wasn’t about what this accusation might mean for his career, but what it means to his family.

michael douglas catherine zeta allegations
Michael Douglas, pictured with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones at a Lifetime Luminaries screening at NeueHouse Madison Square on Nov. 30, 2017 in New York City, denies sexually harassing a former employee. Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Lifetime

“The part that hurt the worst is having to share something like this to your wife and your children,” the 73-year-old actor said. “My kids are really upset, has to go to school worrying this is going to be in some article about me, being a sexual harasser. They’re scared and very uncomfortable. My wife has a long career, and as a woman, she has been very supportive.”

Zeta-Jones and Douglas, who starred in the 2000 crime-drama “Traffic” together, got married the same year of that film’s release and now have two children together, son Dylan and daughter Carys. With his family around him, which also includes his son Cameron from a previous marriage, the father-of-three didn’t want to hold off until the allegations were out to respond.

“I had the choice of waiting for a story to come out, one that will clearly get picked up by other newspapers and magazines, and then I have to sit there and try to defend myself,” he said. “Or, try to share with the public, a little ahead of the story, my thoughts and concerns.”

Douglas explained that he’s going to continue to treat women as he always has, “as equals and my peers,” and that he’s a big supporter of the Me Too movement, as is Zeta-Jones who wore a black dress to the Golden Globes to show her support.