Five women have come forward accusing comedian Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct and have detailed their experiences with The New York Times in a story published Thursday. All alleged instances, which happened from the early ’90s to 2005, involve C.K. masturbating in front of the women or over the phone, or requesting to masturbate in front of them.
In 2002, the Chicago based-comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov say they were invited back to C.K.’s hotel room following their performance at a comedy festival in Aspen. When C.K. asked the women if he could take out his penis, the pair took it as a joke and laughed it off. “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.” Following the incident, Goodman and Wolov told people about it but discovered that “guys were backing away from us” and that they “could already feel the backlash.” According to Goodman and Wolov, they soon learned from their managers at the time that C.K.’s manager, Dave Becky, whose clientele includes Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, and Amy Poehler, wanted them to stop sharing stories of their encounter in Aspen. In an e-mail to the Times, Becky wrote, “I don’t know what was relayed to them.”
Writer, illustrator, and performer Abby Schachner also told the Times about a 2003 incident involving C.K. audibly masturbating while they were on the phone. As Schachner recalled in an interview, blinds could be heard coming down and C.K. proceeded to share his sexual fantasies over the phone. “I definitely wasn’t encouraging it,” she said. “You want to believe it’s not happening.”
The Times also spoke to Abby Corry, a comedian who was working on a TV pilot with C.K. in 2005 when he asked if he could masturbate in front of her. “He asked if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me,” Corry told the Times in a written statement. When she declined, C.K.’s “face got red,” she says, “and he told me he had issues.” The incident has since been confirmed by Courteney Cox and David Arquette, who executive produced the show. “What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful,” Cox wrote in an e-mail to the Times.
One woman who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity details an experience she had with C.K. in the late ‘90s on the set of The Chris Rock Show. The woman, who worked in production, said C.K., who was a writer and producer for the show, repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate. As the Times reports, the woman, who was in her early 20s, complied, but questioned his behavior after. “It was something that I knew was wrong,” she said. “I think a big piece of why I said yes was because of the culture.”
C.K.’s publicist, Lewis Kay, e-mailed the Times on Tuesday night to confirm that comedian would not respond. “Louis is not going to answer any questions,” the message read.
In 2016, during an interview with C.K., Vulture brought up the Gawker reports alleging that he had masturbated “in front of women” in the past. “Well, you can’t touch stuff like that,” C.K. told Vulture. “There’s one more thing I want to say about this, and it’s important: If you need your public profile to be all positive, you’re sick in the head. I do the work I do, and what happens next I can’t look after. So my thing is that I try to speak to the work whenever I can. Just to the work and not to my life.”
The Times’s report comes hours after the New York premiere for C.K.’s new film, I Love You, Daddy, was cancelled by the movie’s distribution company. In an e-mail statement provided to Variety, The Orchard explained, “Due to unexpected circumstances, tonight’s event for I Love You, Daddy has been cancelled. On behalf of The Orchard, please accept our apologies. We’re incredibly sorry for any inconvenience.” C.K., who wrote and directed the film, stars as a Manhattan-based TV writer-producer whose 17-year-old daughter, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, is pursued by a 68-year-old filmmaker, played by John Malkovich.
As Variety notes, C.K. also canceled Thursday’s appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and has since been replaced by William H. Macy.