CNN stands by its reporting on Morgan Freeman accusing him of sexual harassment

CNN has responded to Morgan Freeman's demand for retraction and apology.

The cable news network responded today to a 10-page letter from Freeman's attorney Robert Schwartz earlier this week demanding a retraction of the story and an apology.

In its five-page response, CNN wrote that it "stands by its reporting and is prepared to fight aggressively any attempt to intimidate it into silence."

CNN also dismissed Schwartz's letter as "designed for press consumption," saying it does not, "cast any shadow on the central gravamen of CNN's story -- that Morgan Freeman engaged in a pattern of behavior that demeaned and sexualized women, whether or not they were in his employ."

The cable news network defended reporter Chloe Melas, who co-authored the May 24 report, saying she has received "death threats" since the story was published.

In his letter, Freeman's attorney said Melas treated a comment that Freeman made during a press junket for his film "Going in Style" as "a form of sexual harassment, and then set out on a crusade to vilify him."

Schwartz did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

But in a statement he issued Tuesday, Schwartz said, "We presented CNN with objective evidence, including videotapes and on-the-record denials by the claimed 'victims,' that the alleged incident that gave rise to the story never happened. We proved to CNN, beyond any doubt, that the whole story was built on fakery."

But he also issued an apology to "anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."