Louis C.K. Responds to Sexual Harassment Allegations: "These Stories Are True"

Trigger warning: these allegations are sexually graphic in nature and may be disturbing to some readers

louis ck wearing blue suit

(Photo: Getty Images)

Updated on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. to reflect Louis C.K.’s statement

According to the New York Timesfive women have come forward with allegations that comedian Louis C.K. “crossed a line into sexual misconduct” by masturbating in front of them without consent. 

In the late ’90s, a woman (who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity) said she was working in production at The Chris Rock Show when Louis C.K. asked her numerous times to watch him masturbate.

In 2002, Chicago comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov were invited back to Louis C.K.’s hotel room, at which point Louis C.K. asked “if he could take out his penis.” They laughed it off as a joke, but then C.K. “proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”

In 2003, Abby Schachner was on the phone with Louis C.K. when she could hear him masturbating while they spoke.

In 2005, Louis C.K. asked Rebecca Corry if he could masturbate in front of her and she declined.

The New York Times attempted to reach Louis C.K. for comment before going to press, but his publicist said “Louis is not going to answer any questions,” via email.

The following day, on Nov. 10, Louis C.K. issued a statementwhich he requested be posted in its entirety. “These stories are true,” he writes. “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question.”

Louis C.K. continues: “There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am.” He concluded his statement saying: “I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.” 

Many on social media have noted that Louis C.K.’s statement, while an acknowledgement, is not in fact an apology. He admits what he did, but he does not use words you might usually find in an apology, like “I apologize” or “I’m sorry.”

Hours before the New York Times article went live, Louis C.K. cancelled the New York premiere of his upcoming film I Love You, Daddy set to take place at the Paris Theatre on the evening of November 9, as well as his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, citing “unexpected circumstances.”

Eerily enough, Louis C.K.’s new film Love You, Daddy—which stars himself and Chloë Grace Moretz—is the story of a television writer whose young daughter begins a romantic relationship with a 68-year-old filmmaker with a questionable past. In the film, one character “aggressively mimics masturbating in front of others,” said the New York Times.

Fellow comedian Tig Notaro, creator of the Amazon series One Mississippion which Louis C.K. is listed as an executive producer—has been extremely outspoken against Louis C.K., saying he has “nothing to do with the show.” In email correspondence with the New York Times, Notaro said, “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real, but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.”

Notaro wasn’t the only one anticipating these allegations.

These allegations come in the wake of several hundred allegations against other men in the entertainment industry, including Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Kevin Spacey.

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