Louis C.K. is the latest famous entertainer to face allegations of abusing his power, with five women coming forward to accuse the comedian of sexual misconduct.
In a report published on Thursday, the New York Times spoke with five women who accused C.K. of a litany of inappropriate sexual behavior, including taking off his clothes and masturbating in front of them, masturbating while talking to them on the phone, and asking them if they would watch him masturbate. All of the women were either working in the industry or trying to break into it at the time of their alleged interactions with C.K., and all said that they feared repercussions for their careers if they spoke about the incidents.
One comedy duo, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, told the Times that in 2002 they had just performed at a comedy festival in Colorado when C.K. invited them back to his hotel room to celebrate their newfound success. The Times reports:
He was a comedian they admired. The women would be together. His intentions seemed collegial.
As soon as they sat down in his room, still wrapped in their winter jackets and hats, Louis C.K. asked if he could take out his penis, the women said.
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.”
In 2003, Abby Schachner called Louis C.K. to invite him to one of her shows, and during the phone conversation, she said, she could hear him masturbating as they spoke. Another comedian, Rebecca Corry, said that while she was appearing with Louis C.K. on a television pilot in 2005, he asked if he could masturbate in front of her. She declined.
Goodman and Wolov said that immediately after their run-in with C.K., they began telling other people what happened, but their fellow comedians “seemed to recoil,” and they could “feel the backlash.” They told the Times that they heard C.K.’s manager, Dave Becky, wanted them to stop talking about the incident. Becky denied threatening the women.
Neither C.K. nor his publicist responded to the Times’s request for an interview. His publicist, Lewis Kay, said in an email to the Times, “Louis is not going to answer any questions.”
On Thursday, C.K. abruptly canceled the premiere of his new movie, “I Love You, Daddy,” which features a character who pretends to masturbate in front of others. The comedian also canceled a planned Thursday appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”