Tuesday 11 December 2018

Louis C.K. breaks his silence on sexual misconduct allegations: 'These stories are true'

Louis C.K. performs on stage as The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation present the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)
Louis C.K. performs on stage as The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation present the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Comedian Louis C.K. has issued a statement confirming allegations of sexual misconduct are true.

He is alleged to have masturbated or asked to do so in front of five women in a report that was published in the New York Times on Thursday.

"These stories are true," he says. "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick 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 dick 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."

The comedian, whose stand-up special with Netflix was dropped and new film I Love You Daddy is no longer being promoted, added: "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".

The statement continues: "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 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.

"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."

On Thursday his film's New York premiere was cancelled hours ahead of the event as they were made aware of the upcoming New York Times story. CK has not yet responded to the allegations.

Friday also saw the BBC pull an Agatha Christie drama Ordeal By Innocence from Christmas schedules after two actresses accused star Ed Westwick of sexual assault while further allegations emerged against Steven Seagal with actress Jenny McCarthy claiming he asked her to strip 22 years ago.

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