When comedian Beth Stelling went public with her story of being raped and abused by an ex-boyfriend late last year, she was careful not to use his name. Soon, though, Stelling's friends in the L.A. comedy scene identified him as Cale Hartmann, a comic who has appeared on 2 Broke Girls and Key & Peele. Hartmann disabled his social media accounts shortly after the story broke, but he has since returned to Facebook with a lengthy post defending himself against the allegations, which he calls "false and extremely harmful." In Hartmann's telling, he's the victim of an internet mob that's attacking him without knowing the full story. As he puts it, "My career and life do not deserve to be taken away without some basic level of due process just because of an allegation on the Internet ... people take joy in destroying me as the new villain of the week. How would that make you feel?"
As Stelling wrote in her initial post, she was just one in "a line of smart, funny women who experienced this from the same man," and two days after Hartmann's response, another of Hartmann's exes went public with her story of abuse at his hands. On the January 1 episode of We Should Have a Podcast, comedian Courtney Pauroso told how Hartmann was "verbally and emotionally abusive" for the duration of the couple's three-year relationship and raped her when she tried to break up with him. "It took a long time for me to acknowledge that it happened to me, " she explained, "and now that Beth has come forward with this, I think it's appropriate that I do the same thing, too."