Louis C.K. Admits Sexual Harassment Allegations Are True, Issues Apology

Renown director, actor and producer Louis C.K. is the latest star to be accused of sexual misconduct.

In an exposé by The New York Times that was published this week, five women came forward to allege that C.K. openly masturbated in front of them. This comes after years of rumors – rumors that have dogged the influential comedian since as far back as the mid-2000s – though this is the first time that anyone has gone on record in an official capacity.

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to react to all this and already, The Orchard has pulled the release of his film I Love You, Daddy, while HBO and Netflix have also cut ties with the comedian. Furthermore, FX says that C.K. is now under review, and a number of other companies are likewise looking at their current deals with him, too, deciding if it’s in their best interest to continue their working relationship.

And so, as Louis waits to see what direction his career will head in from here, he’s now issued a formal apology, owning up to his actions and telling his fans that he’ll be taking a step back to take some time to listen.

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 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.

Whether or not Louis C.K. will be able to bounce back from all this remains to be seen, but he now joins a long line of prominent Hollywood men who have been brought into the spotlight for their alleged misconduct.

If the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal was the first domino to fall, then over the past fortnight we’ve caught wind of accusations being leveled against Kevin SpaceyBrett RatnerDustin Hoffman and Charlie Sheen. Suffice it to say, the industry has a serious problem right now that needs to be fixed.