The Hollywood floodgates are open, and baby, are the accusations and revelations of predatory sexual behavior pouring out.
Perhaps emboldened by the recent downfall of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey—two men who, months ago, were at the top of their respective games and are now social and business pariahs—five women have gone on record to say that a prominent comedian has acted inappropriately.
Louis C.K., who once wrote for Chris Rock and Cedric the Entertainer, has been accused by five women—all from the world of comedy—of sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of them.
On Thursday the New York Times published a report saying that in 2002 a Chicago comedy duo, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, were with Louis C.K. at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., when he invited them to his room.
As soon as they sat down, still wrapped in their winter jackets and hats, “Louis C.K. asked if he could take out his penis,” the women told the Times:
They thought it was a joke and laughed it off. “And then he really did it,” Ms. Goodman said in an interview with The New York Times. “He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”
The next year, writer and performer Abby Schachner called Louis C.K. to invite him to one of her shows, and she told Times that she “could hear him masturbating as they spoke.” When she called him, he said that he was in the office, working as a writer for Cedric the Entertainer Presents.
Then he slowly started telling her his sexual fantasies, breathing heavily and talking softly. She realized he was masturbating, and was dumbfounded. The call went on for several minutes, even though, Ms. Schachner said, “I definitely wasn’t encouraging it.” But she didn’t know how to end it, either. “You want to believe it’s not happening,” she said
In 2005 another comedian, Rebecca Corry, said that Louis asked if he could masturbate in front of her.
The Times reports that since the alleged incidents, Louis C.K. has sold out Madison Square Garden in New York City eight times and had a hit cable series—and notes how these allegations mirror parts of his act:
He rose to fame in part by appearing to be candid about his flaws and sexual hang-ups, discussing and miming masturbation extensively in his act — an exaggerated riff that some of the women feel may have served as a cover for real misconduct. He has all but invited comparison between his private life and his onscreen work, too: In “I Love You, Daddy,” which is scheduled to be released next week, a character pretends to masturbate at length in front of other people, and other characters appear to dismiss rumors of sexual predation.
A fifth woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that she was working in production on The Chris Rock Show when Louis C.K. also repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate. She says that she was in her early 20s and acceded to his request.
“It was something that I knew was wrong,” said the woman.
When contacted by the Times about the allegations, Louis C.K. declined to respond via his publicist.