Neil deGrasse Tyson un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter al­le­ga­tions

The Washington Post Sunday - - POLITICS & THE NATION - BY SARAH KA­PLAN AND BEN GUARINO sarah.ka­[email protected]­ [email protected]­

Days af­ter mul­ti­ple women ac­cused Neil deGrasse Tyson of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault, Fox En­ter­tain­ment Group and the pro­duc­ers of the tele­vi­sion se­ries “Cos­mos” said they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing the celebrity astro­physi­cist.

The al­le­ga­tions were re­ported Thurs­day on the web­site Patheos, which fea­tures writ­ing on re­li­gion, sci­ence and the skep­tic com­mu­nity. In the re­port, Buck­nell Univer­sity as­tronomer Kate­lyn Allers said Tyson grabbed her arm and reached into her dress while look­ing at a tat­too of the so­lar sys­tem. Ash­ley Wat­son, a for­mer as­sis­tant to Tyson who worked on his lat­est “Cos­mos” se­ries, said she quit her job af­ter Tyson made in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual ad­vances.

Patheos has pre­vi­ously re­ported al­le­ga­tions by mu­si­cian Tchiya Amet, who said Tyson drugged and raped her when they were grad­u­ate stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Texas at Austin.

Satur­day night, Tyson posted a lengthy re­sponse to the al­le­ga­tions on Face­book. He wrote that he hadn’t rec­og­nized Allers’s and Wat­son’s dis­com­fort at the time of the in­ci­dents they de­scribed. He ac­knowl­edged that he had a short re­la­tion­ship with Amet in the 1980s but re­jected her al­le­ga­tion of as­sault.

Tyson wrote that he would fully co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions.

In a state­ment, “Cos­mos” pro­duc­ers told The Wash­ing­ton Post that they are “com­mit­ted to a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of this mat­ter and to act ac­cord­ingly as soon as it is con­cluded. … The credo at the heart of COS­MOS is to fol­low the ev­i­dence wher­ever it leads.”

Fox En­ter­tain­ment and Na­tional Geo­graphic, which air the show, said they had just be­come aware of the al­le­ga­tions and are re­view­ing the re­ports. 21st Cen­tury Fox jointly owns the Na­tional Geo­graphic chan­nel with the Na­tional Geo­graphic So­ci­ety.

Amet did not im­me­di­ately re­ply to an emailed re­quest for com­ment from The Post.

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