A day after the New York Times published a report featuring five women accusing comedian Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct, he's speaking out. On Friday, Louis C.K. released a statement about the allegations to Bustle through his rep. In the lengthy message, C.K. admitted that the allegations, which include masturbating in front of women, are true.
The statement begins by acknowledging the women who spoke to the Times:
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 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.
UPDATE: On Friday, FX announced that it is ending its association with C.K. in a statement. It reads in part, "FX Networks and FX Productions are ending our association with Louis C.K. We are cancelling the overall deal between FX Productions and his production company, Pig Newton. He will no longer serve as executive producer or receive compensation on any of the four shows we were producing with him – Better Things, Baskets, One Mississippi and The Cops."
Soon after, C.K.'s rep, Lewis Kay, announced on Twitter, "As of today, I no longer represent Louis C.K."
EARLIER: As for the names mentioned, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov are a comedy duo, who told the Times that they went back to C.K.'s hotel in 2002 after a performance to celebrate. However, when they arrived, he reportedly asked to take out his penis. While they initially thought it was a joke, Goodman told the Times, "He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating."
Meanwhile, Abby Schachner claimed to the Times she could hear C.K. masturbating during a phone call in 2003. As for Rebecca Corry's account, the Louie star reportedly asked if he could masturbate in front of her while filming a TV pilot in '05. She declined and even reportedly called him out, as his wife was pregnant at the time. Corry told the Times, "His face got red, and he told me he had issues.” There was also one anonymous woman in the report.
As for this behavior, C.K.'s statement continues:
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.
While he may be remorseful, that doesn't mean he forgives himself. His statement also acknowledged the impact this may have had on the women, adding,
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 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.
Since the allegations first broke, the New York premiere of his movie I Love You, Daddy was canceled. Then, on Friday it was announced that the movie's distributor, The Orchard, canceled C.K.'s movie release altogether, according to The Verge. HBO also took action, announcing they would drop his comedy special, Night of Too Many Stars, and remove his past TV series and specials, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Similarly, Netflix decided to not air C.K.'s second comedy special of the year, according to the New York Times. Citing his "unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues" as the reason in a statement to the Times, Netflix also called the allegations "disturbing."
While C.K. is owning up to his actions now, it's worth noting that he previously denied rumors that he'd masturbated in front of women without their consent. In September when discussing the movie I Love You, Daddy with the Times, he was asked about the circulating claims and said, “I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors. If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real."
It definitely appears that he's changed his tune. C.K. ended his latest statement by writing:
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.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.