Louis CK responds to sexual misconduct allegations: “These stories are true”

The comedian had been accused of masturbating in front of women

Louis CK has issued a statement in response to allegations of sexual misconduct, saying: “These stories are true”.

An article published by the New York Times yesterday (November 9) shone a light on claims from five women – all of whom have worked with the comedian in some capacity – about alleged inappropriate behaviour by CK. The claims included CK allegedly masturbating in front of female comedians.

After initially declining to comment, CK has now issued a public statement, saying that the “stories are true” and that he has “been remorseful of my actions”.

He adds: “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.”

CK admits to taking “advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community” and that he wishes he 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”.

“There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for,” CK says. “And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.”

CK goes on to indicate that he will “now step back and take a long time to listen”.

Read CK’s statement in full below:

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.

Following the allegations, CK’s new film I Love You, Daddy has been dropped by its distributorHBO has also severed its ties with CK while FX have announced that their relationship with the comedian is under review.

  • For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.