After years of rumors, the day of reckoning has arrived for Louis C.K. and his alleged sexual misconduct against women in comedy. Following the news that C.K. had abruptly canceled the premiere of his movie I Love You, Daddy as well as his appearance on tonight’s Late Show, The New York Times just published a bombshell report where five women have decided to come forward (four publicly and one anonymously) to accuse C.K. of sexual misconduct. C.K. did not comment in response to the story.
Here’s an excerpt where Chicago comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov recount their experience with C.K. in 2002 and afterward:
During Ms. Goodman and Ms. Wolov’s surreal visit to Louis C.K.’s Aspen hotel room, they said they were holding onto each other, screaming and laughing in shock, as Louis C.K. masturbated in a chair. “We were paralyzed,” Ms. Goodman said. After he ejaculated on his stomach, they said, they fled. He called after them: “He was like, ‘Which one is Dana and which one is Julia?’” Ms. Goodman recalled.
Afterward, they ran into Charna Halpern, the owner of influential improv theaters in Los Angeles and Chicago, where Ms. Goodman and Ms. Wolov performed, and relayed what had happened. “I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to tell them to do,” said Ms. Halpern. Ms. Goodman and Ms. Wolov decided against going to the police, unsure whether what happened was criminal, but felt they had to respond in some way “because something crazy happened to us,” Ms. Goodman said.
Hoping that outrage would build against Louis C.K., and also to shame him, they began telling others about the incident the next day. But many people seemed to recoil, they said. “Guys were backing away from us,” Ms. Wolov said. Barely 24 hours after they left Louis C.K.’s hotel, “we could already feel the backlash.”
Soon after, they said they understood from their managers that Mr. Becky, Louis C.K’s manager, wanted them to stop telling people about their encounter with Louis C.K. Lee Kernis, one of the women’s managers at the time, confirmed on Thursday that he had a conversation in which he told Mr. Becky that Louis C.K.’s behavior toward the women had been offensive. Mr. Kernis also said that Mr. Becky was upset that the women were talking openly about the incident.
Tig Notaro also gave a comment to The New York Times, saying that she feels “trapped” by her association with him as executive producer on her Amazon series:
Her fear is that “he released my album to cover his tracks,” she said. “He knew it was going to make him look like a good guy, supporting a woman.” Ms. Notaro said she learned of his reputation after they sold the series to Amazon, and a recent story line is a fictional treatment of the alleged masturbation episodes. “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real,” she said by email, “but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community,” like Ms. Goodman and Ms. Wolov, who confided in her, she said.
The Times report also reveals that C.K. has reached out to the victims in the past and acknowledged that his behavior was inappropriate:
In 2015, a few months before the now-defunct website Defamer circulated rumors of Louis C.K.’s alleged sexual misconduct, Ms. Corry also received an email from Louis C.K., which was obtained by The Times, saying he owed her a “very very very late apology.” When he phoned her, he said was sorry for shoving her in a bathroom. Ms. Corry replied that he had never done that, but had instead asked to masturbate in front of her. Responding in a shaky voice, he acknowledged it and said, “I used to misread people back then,” she recalled.
The call confounded her, Ms. Corry said: not only had he misremembered the incident, which made her think there were other moments of misconduct, he also implied she had done something to invite his behavior. “It is unfair he’s put me or anyone else in this position,” Ms. Corry said.
Read the full NYT piece here.