Comedian Louis C.K. broke his silence Friday, one day after The New York Times ran a story in which five women accused the comedian of sexual misconduct.
"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," C.K. wrote in a statement released by his publicist, Lewis Kay.
"These stories are true," he admitted. "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my (penis) 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."
The rest of C.K.'s statement, in its entirety:
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."
The professional fallout
In a statement Friday, I Love You, Daddy distributor Orchard Films announced that the film company would be scrapping C.K.'s new movie, which was slated to open in limited release on Nov. 17.
“The Orchard will not be moving forward with the release of I Love You, Daddy," the statement reads. The shelving follows the cancellation of the movie's New York premiere, originally scheduled for Tuesday.
Additionally, Netflix announced on Friday that the streaming service will not be moving forward with its second planned C.K. standup special, the follow-up to the comedian's 2017 released in April.
“The allegations made by several women in the New York Times about Louis C.K.’s behavior are disturbing," Netflix told USA TODAY in s statement provided by spokesperson Karen Barragan. "Louis' unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with female colleagues has led us to decide not to produce a second stand up special, as had been planned.”
The film and comedy special weren't the only projects affected by the revelations.
HBO announced Thursday that it will remove all of C.K's past work from its on-demand viewing services and that the comedian will no longer be participating in Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs, which will air live Nov. 18 on the cable network.
C.K's appearance on CBS' The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Friday also was canceled, with William H. Macy scheduled to take his place.
FX Networks, which aired his Emmy-winning comedy Louie, and two current projects he produces (Baskets and Better Things) is taking a more measured approach to the allegations. The cable channel, which said it had received no reports on him during the previous eight years, issued a statement Thursday saying that the "matter is currently under review."
The swift professional fallout came after the Times story identified four women by name, and a fifth anonymously, who shared similar stories of C.K. crossing the line into sexual misconduct in encounters with them dating back more than a decade.
"He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating," comedian Dana Min Goodman described, recounting how C.K. invited her and her comedic partner Julia Wolov to his hotel room following their performance at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colo., in 2002.
Contributing: Maria Puente
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