Canadian reporter defends Ben Affleck after sexually charged interview resurfaces

(Screenshots via YouTube)

Chris Mejaski,

Canadian TV reporter Anne-Marie Losique is coming to Ben Affleck's defence after a 2004 interview with the actor resurfaced this week, in which he has the reporter sit in his lap with his arms around her for the duration of the interview, while he continuously makes sexually suggestive comments.

"I like the perfume. They would like it better if you did the show topless, wouldn't they?" Affleck says at the outset of the junket interview for Jersey Girl as he hugs the reporter and pulls her into his lap.

"You usually show a lot more cleavage than this. What's the story? Why are you covering up today?" he says at another point, continuing to squeeze Anne-Marie as she squirms.

"It's Sunday morning? That never stopped you before from getting your t*tties out. Who are you trying to fool... you could be in church [and you'd] usually have that rack on display."

The interview, shot for a show called Box Office on the Star network, reentered public consciousness this week after Affleck condemned movie mogul Harvey Weinstein amid widespread sexual harassment allegations. Former MTV TRL host Hilarie Burton shared how she was uncomfortable when Affleck touched her breast during an interview back in 2003.

But Losique says this interview was all in good fun, and doesn't want it to be used against Affleck.

"This was for the camera," she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "You have to understand that we have done dozens and dozens of interviews like that. It was for a show I was producing, so I was not at all a victim. When the cameras rolled, we would start to do that game. As soon as it stopped rolling, there was none of that. He never touched me in any improper way. He was very respectful, I must say."

Losique says backlash over the uncomfortable interview has been blown out of proportion, and says there were 20 people in the room while it was going on.

"I know that people like fishing for anything, but this is completely out of context. I would like this to not have any negative impact on him. I find it sad," she says.

"I can't say I am thrilled to have that interview mixed in with the other stories because I don't think that is at all the same thing."