The ugly truth
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.