‘Stories are true’: Louis C.K. releases statement on allegations

Photo by Evan Agostini/ Invision/ AP, File)

NEW YORK — Comedian Louis C.K. released the following statement on Friday following allegations of sexual misconduct in a New York Times report. The statement is unedited except for explicit language:

“I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.

These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay 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.

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.

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.

I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.

The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s (sic) professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy (sic). I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.

I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.

I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.

Thank you for reading.”

Sexual misconduct allegations

Comedians Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner, Julia Wolov and Rebecca Corry allege the Emmy-winning star of FX’s “Louie” either pleasured himself 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 lawyer for C.K. did not immediately respond to comment from The Associated Press, but a representative for the comedian said Thursday that C.K. would issue a written statement in the coming days.

Another publicist told the Times the comedian would not respond to their reporting. Schachner, who said she heard C.K. masturbating on the phone in 2003, declined comment to The AP and representatives for the other three named women did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Corry alleges the comedian, while she was working on 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, Courtney Cox and David Arquette confirmed Corry’s account to the Times. Cindy Guagenti, Arquette’s representative, told The AP her client had nothing more to add.

In anticipation of the report, the New York premiere of Louis C.K.’s new film “I Love You, Daddy” was canceled on Thursday night and C.K.’s scheduled Friday 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 Thursday 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 November 18. HBO also said it will remove C.K.’s past projects from its video 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.

Known for his candid, warts-and-all personal humor, which often includes talk of bodily fluids and sex, C.K. grew up outside Boston. He performed stand-up sets in New York and eventually landed writing gigs on Conan O’Brien’s “Late Night” and David Letterman’s “Late Show.”

He went on to become the head writer of “The Dana Carvey Show” from 1995-96 and contributed to the animated “TV Funhouse” vignettes on “Saturday Night Live.”

He was a writer on “The Chris Rock Show” and voiced patients on the Comedy Central’s “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.” He also wrote and directed the film “Pootie Tang” with Rock, an infamous bomb.

In a 2014 episode of his FX series “Louie,” the title character played by C.K. pushes himself on a longtime friend and sometime flame, Pamela. She’s played by actress-writer Pamela Adlon of “Better Things.”

In the scene, Pamela rebuffs his efforts to pull her into his bedroom as he paws at her. “This would be rape if you weren’t so stupid. My God, you can’t even rape well,” she says.

C.K.’s comedy writing and production tentacles spread throughout TV and film. He’s credited as a creator of the Zach Galifianakis show “Baskets,” in its third season on FX, and of Adlon’s “Better Things,” now in its second season on FX. He is also developing another series for FX called “The Cops” in which he’s set to star opposite Albert Brooks. C.K. is an executive producer of comedian Tig Notaro’s Amazon series, “One Mississippi.” He starred in a Netflix special earlier this year that was nominated for two Emmy Awards.

FX said in a statement Thursday it was “obviously very troubled by the allegations.”

“The network has received no allegations of misconduct by Louis C.K. related to any of our 5 shows produced together over the past 8 years,” the statement said, adding, “the matter is currently under review.”

C.K. also appeared on several episodes of “Parks and Recreation” in 2012 and creator Mike Schur apologized Thursday for including him. On Twitter, Schur admitted to hearing rumors but still using the comedian. “I’m sorry,” he wrote.

C.K.’s new film, “I Love You, Daddy,” had its premiere this summer at the Toronto International Film Festival. C.K., who co-starred in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” said he and co-writer Vernon Chatman wanted to make a movie about beloved artists who are trailed by murmurs of scandal.

Some also see the black-and-white 35mm film as C.K.’s response to his own controversies. Allegations of questionable sexual behavior long have dogged C.K.: Roseanne Barr has said there are “multiple accusations” and Notaro advised C.K. to “handle” the rumors.

In the film, C.K. plays a successful TV producer whose 17-year-old daughter begins a relationship with an older director. It spawns a kind of crisis for C.K.’s character, who has his own issues with how he treats women.

The allegations about C.K.’s behavior are the latest in Hollywood’s growing sexual harassment scandal, which prompted Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to announce Thursday the establishment of a task force to handle any resulting criminal complaints.

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

Other fallout Thursday:

 

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