Aziz Ansari has released a statement after being accused of sexual assault by an anonymous 23-year-old photographer.
The woman, referred to as “Grace”, says she felt the Master of None creator “took advantage” of her during a date.
In an interview with online publication babe, Grace says she met Ansari at the 2017 Emmy Awards after-party after they both brought the same kind of camera to the event.
She says she gave him her number at the end of the night and the pair exchanged “flirtatious banter” for a week before he asked her to go out on a date with him on Monday 25 September.
Grace says Ansari took her to dinner and the pair chatted about NYU and comedy. She then says he quickly asked for the cheque and that “the abruptness surprised her.”
Grace then went back to Ansari’s apartment building, where she then claims ‘things quickly escalated.’ She says “she remembers feeling uncomfortable” after Ansari told her he was “going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss”.
She claims that Ansari physically pulled her hand towards his penis multiple times throughout the night and that he wouldn’t let her move away from him.
Grace says she used verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate how uncomfortable and distressed she was. She told babe: “I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz. I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”
Babe writes that the day after the incident, Grace wrote a long text to Ansari, saying: “I just want to take this moment to make you aware of [your] behavior and how uneasy it made me.” Ansari responded: “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.” You can see the alleged texts here.
Ansari has since responded in a statement, saying that the pair had “engag[ed] in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual”.
He goes on to say that, “it was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned”.
Read Ansari’s statement in full below:
“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.
The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.
I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”