British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is the latest powerful man caught in a swelling wave of sexual harassment and abuse scandals now stretching both sides of the Atlantic. Sarah Charlton reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MICHAEL FALLON, FORMER BRITISH DEFENSE SECRETARY, SAYING: "I have reflected on my position in government and I'm therefore resigning as defense secretary" The growing list of powerful men caught in allegations of sexual harassment or abuse now claiming one of the British government's top brass. Britain's defense minister Michael Fallon stepping down from his position on Wednesday (November 1) night: The first resignation in a sexual harassment scandal in the British parliament. The spotlight fell on him only two days before, when it was revealed he'd placed his hand on the knee of a political commentator at dinner in 2002. Fallon has apologized - stating that what was acceptable 15 years ago isn't today. The woman in question, Julia Hartley-Brewer, told the British media that she doubts the incident was the main factor behind the resignation. Stating in a BBC interview that it would be "the most absurd reason for anyone to have lost their job in the history of the universe." (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER BRITISH DEFENCE SECRETARY MICHAEL FALLON SAYING: "In recent days, allegations have been made about MPs (Members of Parliament) conduct, including my own. Many of these allegations have been false, but I realize that in the past, I may have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honor to represent A number of British political figures have been hit with allegations of sexual abuse in recent days - from rape, to a supposed list detailing serial "sex pests". On Monday (October 30) the British prime minister set out plans to tackle harassment and enforce a code of conduct. It follows similar scandals unfolding in the United States, including Hollywood personalities and public officials.