- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2017

Louis C.K. admitted Friday that the five women who accused the comedian of sexual harassment in a bombshell New York Times report were telling the truth.

Mr. C.K. said in a statement that he is taking a “long” step back from comedy, after admitting that the stories of sexual misconduct from comedians Dana Min Goodman, Julia Wolov, Abby Schachner, Rebecca Corry and an unnamed woman who worked at “The Chris Rock Show” in the late 1990s, which were detailed in the New York Times’ report Thursday afternoon, were true.

“These stories are true,” he said. “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d—k 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 d—k 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.”

Ms. Goodman and Ms. Wolov told The Times that in 2002, they were invited to celebrate in Mr. C.K.’s hotel room after their break-out performance at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. They said once they were in Mr. C.K.’s room, the comedian immediately asked if he could take out his penis — a request they initially took as a joke.

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

In 2003, Ms. Schachner said she could overhear Mr. C.K. masturbating as she spoke to him on the phone. In 2005, Ms. Corry said Mr. C.K. asked her if he could masturbate in front of her in her dressing room while the two worked together on a television pilot.

The fifth woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she was working in production at “The Chris Rock Show” when Mr. C.K., a writer and producer there, repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate. She said she went along with his request, later blaming the comedian for abusing his power.

In his statement Friday, Mr. C.K. said the women’s stories finally opened his eyes to the real damage his behavior had caused.

“I have been remorseful of my actions,” he said. “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.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Mr. C.K. also apologized to colleagues working on his multiple projects that are still in production, and to his family, including his two children.

“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,” he said.

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