*Louis C.K. has finally confessed to longstanding rumors that he regularly asks to masturbate in front of women, after five accusers came forward with their experiences in a New York Times expose released Thursday.
“These stories are true,” the comedian said in a lengthy statement released Friday.
He continued, “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.”
He specifically apologized to the people who are currently being professionally impacted by his actions, including the cast and crew of FX’s “Better Things” and “Baskets,” TBS’ “The Cops,” Amazon’s “One Mississippi” and his newly shelved movie, “I Love You, Daddy,” along with his manager, Dave Becky, who was mentioned in the Times story.
“I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother,” he wrote. “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.”
The New York Times report detailed disturbing claims from five women who alleged that C.K. either attempted to or masturbated in front of them, either in person or over the phone. Fellow comedian and onetime C.K. friend Tig Notaro corroborated the claims made by several of the women, also confirming that the sexual assault plotline in the second season of her Amazon series “One Mississippi” — in which C.K. is also an executive producer — was inspired by the allegations.
Four female comedians went on the record with their claims — Chicago comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, Rebecca Corry and Abby Schachner — along with one anonymous woman identified only as a former production employee on HBO’s The Chris Rock Show.
Netflix cancelled its planned stand-up special with the comic in wake of Thursday’s report, and “I Love You Daddy” — which he wrote, stars in and directed — was dropped by distribution company The Orchard one week ahead of its planned Nov. 17 release. HBO cut ties with C.K., dropping him from an upcoming star-studded stand-up special and removed his previous specials and series from its on-demand services. Meanwhile, FX, where C.K. has a massive overall deal and has a creator credit on Pamela Adlon’s “Better Things” and Zach Galifianakis’ “Baskets,” says the situation is “under review.”
Read C.K.’s statement in full below:
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.
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.
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.
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.