The ugly truth

Sunday News - - WORLD -

NEW YORK With his ca­reer im­plod­ing over al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct, co­me­dian Louis C.K. has con­fessed to mas­tur­bat­ing in front of women and ex­pressed re­morse for wield­ing his in­flu­ence ‘‘ir­re­spon­si­bly’’.

The co­me­dian said in a state­ment yes­ter­day that the ha­rass­ment claims by five women de­tailed in a New York Times re­port pub­lished on Fri­day ‘‘are true.’’

‘‘I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them,’’ he said. ‘‘There is noth­ing about this that I for­give my­self for. And I have to rec­on­cile it with who I am. Which is noth­ing com­pared to the task I left them with.’’

C.K. apol­o­gised to the cast and crew of sev­eral projects he has been work­ing on, his fam­ily, chil­dren and friends, his man­ager, and the FX net­work, among oth­ers.

The state­ment ended with the co­me­dian vow­ing to stop talk­ing and leave the spot­light, stat­ing: ‘‘I will now step back and take a long time to lis­ten.’’

C.K. stepped for­ward on the same day that in­die dis­trib­u­tor The Orchard said it would scrap the re­lease of his film I Love You, Daddy. He has al­ready been edited out of the up­com­ing HBO autism ben­e­fit Night of Too Many Stars, and his work is be­ing scrubbed from the ca­ble net­work’s vaults.

More fall­out came yes­ter­day when Net­flix said it would not pro­duce a sec­ond planned standup spe­cial star­ring C.K., cit­ing his ‘‘un­pro­fes­sional and in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour’’. At least five of his standup spe­cials re­main on Net­flix.

In a fur­ther blow, FX Net­works and FX Pro­duc­tions said they were end­ing their as­so­ci­a­tion with C.K., which means can­cel­la­tion of a deal with his pro­duc­tion com­pany, Pig New­ton, and re­mov­ing him as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on the four shows FX is mak­ing with him, in­clud­ing Bet­ter Things.

C.K. be­haved pro­fes­sion­ally on all his se­ries for FX ‘‘as far as we know’’, the com­pany said. ‘‘How­ever, now is not the time for him to make tele­vi­sion shows. Now is the time for him to hon­estly ad­dress the women who have come forth to speak about their painful ex­pe­ri­ences, a process which he be­gan to­day with his pub­lic state­ment.’’

Ac­tress and writer Pamela Ad­lon, whose work with C.K. in­cludes Bet­ter Things, said she and her fam­ily ‘‘are dev­as­tated and in shock af­ter the ad­mis­sion of ab­hor­rent be­hav­iour by my friend and part­ner’’.

C.K. lost an­other film yes­ter­day, when Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures and Il­lu­mi­na­tion En­ter­tain­ment said they had ‘‘ter­mi­nated their re­la­tion­ship’’ with him on the planned an­i­mated com­edy The Se­cret Life of Pets 2. C.K. pro­vided the voice of Max the dog in The Se­cret Life of Pets, which was re­leased last year.

The co­me­dian’s pub­li­cist, Lewis Kay, also an­nounced on Twit­ter that ‘‘as of to­day, I no longer rep­re­sent Louis C.K.’’.

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 ha­rass­ment or as­sault ac­cu­sa­tions in­clude ac­tor Kevin Spacey and film­maker Brett Rat­ner.

The widen­ing al­le­ga­tions have also reached for­mer Gos­sip Girl ac­tor Ed West­wick. The BBC yes­ter­day scrapped a TV se­ries in the wake of rape al­le­ga­tions against him. 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 yes­ter­day re­vealed that he was mo­lested when he was 12 by di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Gary God­dard.

Ed­wards said he had 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’’.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for God­dard, said God­dard was a ‘‘men­tor, teacher and friend’’ to Ed­wards and worked as his per­sonal man­ager, but was sad­dened by what he called ‘‘false al­le­ga­tions’’. REUTERS

Ac­tor Jeremy Piven also took to so­cial me­dia to once again de­clare his in­no­cence of sex­ual mis­con­duct, say­ing on Twit­ter he hoped the string of sex­ual ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions would lead to ‘‘a con­struc­tive di­a­logue on these is­sues’’ but warn­ing about ‘‘false ac­cu­sa­tions’’.

The En­tourage star, who has been ac­cused by two women of sex­ual mis­con­duct, faces a fresh ac­cu­sa­tion 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 in­volves Rolling Stone. Ben Ryan, a freelance writer, yes­ter­day ac­cused the magazine’s pub­lisher, Jann Wen­ner, of sex­ual ha­rass­ment, say­ing Wen­ner of­fered him a writ­ing con­tract if Ryan spent the night at the pub­lisher’s Man­hat­tan town­house. AP

Louis C.K. says he will ‘‘now step back and take a long time to lis­ten’’ af­ter ad­mit­ting that sex­ual ha­rass­ment claims by five women are true.

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