‘These stories are true’: Louis CK admits masturbating in front of women, Netflix and FX sever ties | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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‘These stories are true’: Louis CK admits masturbating in front of women, Netflix and FX sever ties

As his career imploded over allegations of sexual misconduct, comedian Louis CK accepted masturbating in front of women and expressed remorse for wielding his influence "irresponsibly."

hollywood Updated: Nov 11, 2017 10:00 IST
AFP
File photo of Louis CK. attending the I Love You Daddy premiere in Toronto. He admitted sexual misconduct and expressed remorse on November 10, 2017 after a New York Times expose accused him of masturbating in front of women amid Hollywood's burgeoning sexual harassment scandal.
File photo of Louis CK. attending the I Love You Daddy premiere in Toronto. He admitted sexual misconduct and expressed remorse on November 10, 2017 after a New York Times expose accused him of masturbating in front of women amid Hollywood's burgeoning sexual harassment scandal.(AFP)

Comedian Louis C.K. admitted on Friday to engaging in sexual misconduct as recounted by several women, three of whom said he had masturbated in front of them, and television and film companies moved quickly to sever ties. “These stories are true,” CK said in a statement.

Five women detailed incidents of sexually inappropriate behaviour by the Emmy-winning comedian dating back 15 years in a New York Times report published on Thursday. CK released a statement acknowledging the encounters in question after his upcoming film I Love You Daddy was scrapped for release on Friday, and Netflix Inc cancelled a planned comedy special with the comedian because of the allegations.

Cable television network FX, a unit of 21st Century Fox, also severed its ties with CK, and Time Warner’s TBS network said it was suspending production on an upcoming animated comedy The Cops, which CK co-created and was due to star in.

“He will no longer serve as executive producer or receive compensation on any of the four shows we were producing with him – Better Things, Baskets, One Mississippi and The Cops,” FX Networks and FX productions said on Friday in a statement.

Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast, and the production company Illumination issued a joint statement saying they have “terminated their relationship” with CK on an upcoming sequel to last year’s animated film, The Secret Life of Pets.

CK was the voice of the lead character, a Jack Russell terrier named Max, in the original film, which according to Hollywood trade paper Variety grossed $875 million. Variety said the sequel was due to open in June 2019.

The comedian’s publicist, Lewis Kay, announced on Twitter that “as of today, I no longer represent Louis C.K.”

CK, 50, said in his statement that he has “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 “ his statement added.

He is the latest celebrity in the entertainment business to be accused of sexual misconduct by people coming forward in the wake of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.

‘WILL NOW STEP BACK’

The comedian born Louis Szekely, who is best known for his TV comedy series “Louie,” added that “I will now step back and take a long time to listen.” He did not make clear how long he would be stepping back for.

Two of the women in the New York Times article, comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, said CK had invited them to his hotel room after a comedy festival in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002 and then masturbated in front of them.

“The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly,” CK said, adding that he thought it was okay to show his genitals to women if he asked them first.

“You asked but we never said yes,” Goodman and Wolov tweeted on Friday after his apology.

Netflix said earlier that it would not produce a planned second stand-up special with him.

Film distributor The Orchard said it would not be moving forward with the release next week of I Love You, Daddy.

The movie was written and directed by CK and he also appears in the film as the father of a 17-year-old girl who has a romance with a 68-year-old filmmaker.

HBO said on Thursday that CK’s past projects with the network, including 2006’s Lucky Louie series, would be removed from its on-demand services and that the comedian would no longer participate in its Nov. 18 televised Night of Too Many Stars show.

Here’s the complete text of Louis CK’s statement...

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 O.K. 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.