Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson is under investigation by Fox, National Geographic and the producers of his scientific docuseries following new allegations of sexual misconduct, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Two women came forward with claims of inappropriate sexual advances in a story in Patheos on Thursday. In 2014, a first accuser, a former classmate of deGrasse Tyson's at the University of Texas in Austin, accused him of rape in a blog post.
“We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson. We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports," Fox and National Geographic said in a statement.
The producers of Cosmos added in their own statement, "The credo at the heart of Cosmos is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. The producers of Cosmos can do no less in this situation. We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey aired in 2014 on PBS as a miniseries; Fox and National Geographic have ordered a second series, which is slated to premiere in 2019.
In the Patheos story published Thursday, Katelyn Allers, a Bucknell University physics and astronomy professor, accuses deGrasse Tyson of groping her at a 2009 meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Allers told Patheos she did not classify the experience as an "assault," but rather evidence of "creepy behavior."
“My experience with him is he’s not someone who has great respect for female bodily autonomy,” Allers said. A colleague of Allers' said she was told of the alleged groping at the time.
Another accuser, a former assistant to deGrasse Tyson named Ashley Watson, said that the astrophysicist attempted to persuade her into having sexual intercourse with him, made inappropriate comments and kept a list of what he deemed "overweight actresses" on his phone. Watson claims that she quit her job due to his advances.
DeGrasse Tyson's first accuser, Tchiya Amet, claimed in a 2014 blog post and subsequent Patheos interview that while she was studying at the University of Texas in Austin in the galactic astronomy program with deGrasse Tyson, he drugged and raped her.