Comedian Louis C.K. says allegations of sexual misconduct made against him are true.
The comedian says he acknowledges that he had power over his victims and “wielded that power irresponsibly.”
He says he is remorseful for his actions and “will now step back and take a long time to listen.”
Earlier today, indie distributor The Orchard said it would not be releasing his new film “I Love You, Daddy.”
The film was set for release on Nov. 17.
The announcement came after the New York Times reported yesterday that C.K. has masturbated in front of five women.
More fallout came Friday when Netflix said it will not produce a second planned standup special starring the comedian, citing his “unprofessional and inappropriate behaviour.” He had been tapped for two specials, with the first airing in April. At least five of the comedian’s stand-up specials remain on Netflix.
“These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my (penis) 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 (penis) isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly,” reads the comedian’s statement.
“I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
“I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.”
C.K. is the latest high-profile man caught in a flood of accusations that began after an October report in the New York Times alleging that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed or assaulted several women. Others who face sexual harassment or assault accusations include “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey and filmmaker Brett Ratner.
The widening allegations have also reached former “Gossip Girl” actor Ed Westwick. The BBC scrapped a TV series in the wake of rape allegations against Westwick. The broadcaster also paused filming on the 1980s-set sitcom “White Gold,” which stars Westwick. He has been accused of raping two women, charges he denies. On Instagram, he called the allegations “unverified and provably untrue.”
“ER” actor Anthony Edwards revealed that he was molested when he was 12 by director and producer Gary Goddard. In a post Friday on Medium, Edwards said he’s been in therapy for years over the assault and confronted Goddard over it 22 years ago at an airport. Goddard, he said, “swore to his remorse.” Attorney Alan Grodin, a lawyer for Goddard, said Goddard has been out of the country and “will have a response shortly.”
Actor Jeremy Piven also took to social media to once again declare his innocence of sexual misconduct, saying on Twitter he hopes the string of sexual harassment allegations will lead to “a constructive dialogue on these issues” but warned about “false accusations.”
“We seem to be entering dark times – allegations are being printed as facts and lives are being put in jeopardy without a hearing, due process or evidence. I hope we can give people the benefit of the doubt before we rush to judgment,” he wrote.
Piven, who has been accused by two women of sexual misconduct, faces a fresh accusation made against him from an advertising executive. Tiffany Bacon Scourby told People magazine that Piven held her down while he performed a sex act at a hotel 14 years ago.
The crisis has also roiled the world of journalism, with editors at The New Republic and NPR losing their jobs. The latest accusation involved Rolling Stone: Ben Ryan, a freelance writer, accused the magazine’s publisher, Jann Wenner, of sexual harassment, saying Wenner offered a writing contract if Ryan spent the night at the publisher’s Manhattan townhouse. Wenner acknowledges he did attempt to have a sexual liaison but denied offering a writing contract for sex.
In other developments, Jenny McCarthy also reiterated an allegation she made against Seagal, saying she fled from a 1995 audition with Seagal after he repeatedly asked her to take off her clothes for a part that didn’t require nudity.
McCarthy recounted her encounter with Seagal during a tryout for “Under Siege 2” on her Sirius XM radio show Thursday, a day after actress Portia de Rossi accused Seagal of unzipping his pants during an audition.
McCarthy said Seagal was the only person in the room when she showed up to read for her part, she said. After declining his invitation to sit next to him on a couch, McCarthy, who said she purposefully wore a loose-fitting garment to the audition so the focus would be on her acting instead of her body, said Seagal asked her to remove her clothes. When McCarthy countered that she was told the part didn’t require her to be naked, she said Seagal told her that it involved “off-camera nudity.”
“I know you must have a beautiful body underneath there. Can you lower it so I can see your breasts,” she recalled Seagal saying.
A representative for Seagal didn’t immediately return a request for comment Friday, but a Seagal spokesman has denied McCarthy’s accusations to The Daily Beast. McCarthy told the same story to Movieline in 1998.