Louis C.K. lat­est star to be ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct

Weekend Herald - - World - Mark Kennedy in New York Louis C.K.

Co­me­dian Louis C.K. has been ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct to­ward sev­eral women, in­clud­ing mas­tur­bat­ing in front of them to their hor­ror and em­bar­rass­ment, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the New York Times.

Co­me­di­ans Dana Min Good­man, Abby Schachner, Ju­lia Wolov, Re­becca Corry al­lege the Emmy-win­ning star ei­ther mas­tur­bated in front of them, asked to do it or did so over the phone. A fifth woman de­tailed her al­le­ga­tions against C.K. to the pa­per but was not iden­ti­fied.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the co­me­dian said C.K. would is­sue a writ­ten state­ment in the com­ing days.

Schachner, who said she heard C.K. mas­tur­bat­ing on the phone in 2003, de­clined com­ment and rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the other three named women did not im­me­di­ately re­turn mes­sages seek­ing com­ment.

Corry al­leges the co­me­dian, while she was work­ing on a TV pi­lot in 2005, asked “if we could go to my dress­ing room so he could mas­tur­bate in front of me”. She de­clined “and he told me he had is­sues”.

The show’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers, Courteney Cox and David Ar­quette, con­firmed Corry’s ac­count to the Times. In an­tic­i­pa­tion of the re­port, the New York pre­miere of C.K.’s new film I Love You, Daddy was can­celled yes­ter­day and C.K.’s sched­uled ap­pear­ance on The Late Show With Stephen Col­bert also has been scrapped.

The small dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany han­dling the re­lease of I Love You Daddy said it is re­view­ing the sit­u­a­tion and giv­ing care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion to the tim­ing and re­lease of the film.

HBO an­nounced that C.K. would no longer be par­tic­i­pat­ing in Night of Too Many Stars: Amer­ica Unites for Autism Pro­grams, set to air on the ca­ble chan­nel on Novem­ber 18. HBO also said it will re­move C.K.’s past projects from its On De­mand ser­vices.

C.K. is among the lat­est Hol­ly­wood fig­ures to be ac­cused of mis­con­duct in a wave that be­gan when dozens of sex­ual ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions were re­ported last month against film mogul Har­vey We­in­stein. Soon, oth­ers be­gan to come for­ward with sto­ries, rang­ing from un­wanted ad­vances to as­sault, against big-name ex­ec­u­tives and en­ter­tain­ers.

Hol­ly­wood’s grow­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment scan­dal has prompted Los An­ge­les County District At­tor­ney Jackie Lacey to an­nounce the es­tab­lish­ment of a task force to han­dle any re­sult­ing crim­i­nal com­plaints.

The in­dus­try group Women in Film also an­nounced yes­ter­day that it plans to launch a “help line” and panel of pro-bono le­gal pro­fes­sion­als to pro­vide coun­selling, re­fer­rals and le­gal ad­vice to ha­rass­ment vic­tims. The free ser­vice is ex­pected to be avail­able be­gin­ning on De­cem­ber 1.

Un­sub­stan­ti­ated ru­mours about be­hav­iour sim­i­lar to that de­scribed by the Times have cir­cu­lated on­line for years about C.K. In Septem­ber, he told the Times: “They’re ru­mours, that’s all it is. If you ac­tu­ally par­tic­i­pate in a ru­mour, you make it big­ger and you make it real.”

Some no­table comics have also talked pub­licly about his rep­u­ta­tion. Tig No­taro said in Au­gust: “I think it’s im­por­tant to take care of that, to han­dle that, be­cause it’s se­ri­ous to be as­saulted. It’s se­ri­ous to be ha­rassed. It’s se­ri­ous, it’s se­ri­ous, it’s se­ri­ous.”

C.K. ap­peared on sev­eral episodes of Parks and Recre­ation in 2012 and cre­ator Mike Schur apol­o­gised yes­ter­day for in­clud­ing C.K.

On Twit­ter, he ad­mit­ted to hear­ing ru­mours but still us­ing the co­me­dian. “I’m sorry,” he wrote.

C.K. and We­in­stein join di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Brett Rat­ner, screen­writer and di­rec­tor James Toback and jour­nal­ist Mark Halperin in be­ing ac­cused by women of mas­tur­bat­ing in front of them.

James Can­tor, the di­rec­tor of the Toronto Sex­u­al­ity Cen­tre and an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto Fac­ulty of Medicine, told CNN: “This is ex­hi­bi­tion­ism, an ex­treme form of it.” He added that for these men, “it’s more like priv­i­lege”, be­cause their po­si­tion al­lowed them to get away with it. AP

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