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'These stories are true,' comedian Louis C.K. says in statement

Louis C.K. accused of sexual misconduct, report says

(TBS via CNN)

NEW YORK – Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of sexual misconduct toward several women, including masturbating in front of them to their horror and embarrassment, according to a report in The New York Times.

Five women -- including comedians Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner, Julia Wolov, Rebecca Corry -- allege the Emmy-winning star of FX's "Louie" either pleasured himself in front of them, asked to do it or did so over the phone.

A publicist for C.K. did not immediately respond to comment from The Associated Press. Another publicist told the Times the comedian would not respond to their reporting.

However, on Friday, C.K. released the following statement in response to the New York Times piece.

"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 (explicative) 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 (explicative) 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."

In anticipation of the report, the New York premiere of Louis C.K.'s controversial new film "I Love You, Daddy" was canceled on Thursday night and C.K.'s scheduled Friday appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" also has been scrapped.

C.K. is among the latest Hollywood figures to be accused of misconduct in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Known for his candid, warts-and-all personal humor, which often includes bodily fluids and sex, C.K. grew up outside Boston. He performed stand-up sets in New York and eventually landed writing gig on Conan O'Brien's "Late Night" and David Letterman's "Late Show."

He went on to become the head writer of "The Dana Carvey Show" from 1995-96 and contributed to the animated "TV Funhouse" vignettes on "Saturday Night Live."

He was a writer on "The Chris Rock Show" and voiced patients on the Comedy Central's "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist." He also wrote and directed the film "Pootie Tang" with Rock, an infamous bomb. His recent TV series are "Baskets," "Horace and Pete" and "Better Things."

is new film, "I Love You, Daddy," had its premiere this summer at the Toronto International Film Festival. C.K., who co-starred in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," said he and co-writer Vernon Chatman wanted to make a movie about beloved artists who are trailed by murmurs of scandal.

Some also see the black-and-white 35mm film as C.K.'s response to his own controversies. Allegations of questionable sexual behavior long have dogged C.K. and Roseanne Barr has said there are "multiple accusations" and comedian Tig Notaro advised C.K. to "handle" the rumors.

In the film, C.K. plays a successful TV producer whose 17-year-old daughter begins a relationship with an older director. It spawns a kind of crisis for C.K.'s character, who has his own issues with how he treats women.