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Louis CK accused of masturbating in front of women without consent

by Gabrielle Bluestone
Nov 9 2017, 1:37pm

Comedian Louis CK has long been rumored to be the subject of a string of blind items and gossip posts about a prominent male comic who forced a string of women to watch him masturbate in front of him without consent. On Thursday, those rumors were confirmed by five women who detailed specific instances of CK’s sexual misconduct to the New York Times.

Comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov told the paper they met CK at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, CO in 2002, when he asked them to come back to his hotel room for a drink. Once inside, they said, he asked them if he could take out his penis.

“And then he really did it,” Goodman told the Times. “He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”

Their story was echoed by three other women: Comedian Abby Schachner told the paper she could hear CK masturbating during a phone call in 2003; comedian Rebecca Corry, who told the paper CK asked if he could masturbate in front of her while they were filming a pilot in 2005; and an anonymous woman who said CK masturbated in front of her in his office on the set of the Chris Rock Show in the late 1990s.

Many of the women’s accounts were confirmed by other people who they told at the time. Courteney Cox and David Arquette, producers on the pilot, for example, remembered the incident. “What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful,” Cox told the paper in an email. A friend of Schachner’s says she told him about the phone call in 2003. And another anonymous employee from the Chris Rock Show told the paper the woman confided in him about the experience not long after it happened.

The comedian Tig Notaro, who has worked with CK for years, has since stopped talking to him and told the Times he preyed on friends of hers. “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real,” she told the paper in an email, “but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.”

CK’s behavior has long been rumored — for example, the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival encounter was reported as a blind item by the website Gawker in 2012 and later confirmed by the site in 2015. A few months before the 2015 Gawker article was published, Corry told the Times CK called her and apologized for shoving her in a bathroom. She says when she corrected him, telling him he had actually masturbated in front of her, he apologized and said “I used to misread people back then.”

But CK faced no apparent recriminations until Thursday, when the premiere of his movie, “I Love You Daddy” was abruptly cancelled just hours before it was scheduled to begin. It’s not clear what will happen with the movie, which reportedly includes a character who pretends to masturbate in front of other people. CK’s planned appearance on Colbert’s Late Show Thursday was also cancelled and he was reportedly replaced by William H. Macey.

It’s an abrupt turnaround from an industry that seemed at times to shield CK from the allegations. Goodman and Wolov said when they tried to report and shame CK for masturbating in front of them without their consent, they were shunned in the comedy world. And a former Gawker freelancer said earlier this month she was stopped from asking about the allegations by the producers of the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal in 2015 because the comedian was a “friend” of the festival.

CK’s publicist, Lewis Kay, declined to comment on the allegations to the Times, writing in an email Tuesday that “Louis is not going to answer any questions.”