Morgan Freeman was reportedly accused of being responsible for his step-granddaughter's death at the sentencing of the man who killed her.
E'Dena Hines' boyfriend Lamar Davenport was sentenced to 20 years in prison with an additional five years of post-release supervision on Thursday, after stabbing her 25 times on a New York street in 2015.
As his family was ushered out of court in New York yesterday, his mother allegedly screamed: "Morgan Freeman molested her and he caused this. He did this. He's innocent! It was an accident!"
The incident follows allegations made during the trial — and before the court case dating back to 2009 — that The Shawshank Redemption star was romantically involved with the 33-year-old.
In April 2018, lawyers revealed that Hines had texted her boyfriend about having "grandpa feelings" for Freeman.
They added that, shortly before she died, she "disclosed to Davenport and others that her grandfather engaged in a sexually inappropriate relationship with her".
The 80-year-old star has always denied all such allegations, including in 2012 when he was forced to deny reports of an engagement.
In a statement, Freeman, who divorced Hines' grandmother, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw, in 1979, said:
"The recent reports of any pending marriage or romantic relationship of me to anyone are defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers. What is even more alarming is that these fabrications are now being picked up by the legitimate press as well."
Davenport was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree in May last year for the fatal attack on Hines.
He reportedly stabbed her 25 times on August 16, 2015, on West 162nd Street in front of horrified onlookers, in what his defence team described as a drug-induced psychosis brought on by his use of PCP.
One man who witnessed the attack testified at the trial that, during the attack, Davenport screamed: "I love you. I always loved you. God would have wanted this."
After he was arrested, he was taken to a hospital where, after given sedatives, he allegedly awoke screaming; "Why did this happen? No, no! Why God?"
The couple's relationship was turbulent, according to those who testified in the trial, with Davenport fathering children with other women while they were together.
Speaking in a press release, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr commented on the case, naming Hines an "ambitious and "driven" individual.
"E’Dena Hines was deeply loved by family and friends before her life was brought to a horrific and tragic end by her boyfriend, Lamar Davenport," he said. "I would like to thank the prosecutors in my office for securing a prison sentence commensurate with his extraordinarily violent crime, and offer my sympathies to Ms Hines' loved ones as they continue to mourn."
At the time of Hines' death, Morgan — who adopted Hines' mother Deena Adair — stated: "The world will never know her artistry in talent. Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace."