Louis C.K. has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women in a report by The New York Times.

The exposé, published Thursday, alleges the comedian exposed himself and masturbated in front of two female comedians in 2002, masturbated while speaking to a female comedian over the phone in 2003 and asked to masturbate in front of another comedian, who declined, in 2005. A fourth woman, identified only as a production employee on HBO's The Chris Rock Show, said C.K. masturbated in front of her as well.

The article was written by investigative reporter Jodi Kanter, the co-author of the Times' Oct. 5 Harvey Weinstein story.

Chicago comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, comedians Rebecca Corry, Abby Schachner and C.K. collaborator and onetime friend Tig Notaro all spoke on the record to the Times for the story, with Notaro supporting the claims made by the women.

Goodman and Wolov said they thought it was a joke when C.K. asked if he could take out his penis during a nightcap in his Aspen hotel room in 2002. "Then he really did it," said Goodman. “He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.” The duo said that when they openly told people about the incident, in hopes of inciting outrage about the comic, they heard C.K.'s manager David Becky was upset with them and they feared their careers could be in jeopardy. They still feel the backlash today. (Becky told the Times he "never threatened anyone.") 

When Schachner invited C.K. to one of her 2003 comedy shows, she said she could hear him masturbating as they spoke from inside his office on the Fox series Cedric the Entertainer Presents. He started telling her about his sexual fantasies, breathing heavily and talking softly, she claims, and says the call went on for several minutes even though she "definitely wasn’t encouraging it." She added, "You want to believe it’s not happening."

Schachner, discouraged from pursuing comedy, says she received an apology via Facebook messenger from C.K. six years later, a note reviewed by the Times. "That was a bad time in my life and I’m sorry," he wrote. "I remember thinking what a repulsive person I was being by responding the way that I did."

Corry recalled how the star asked if he could masturbate in front of her while they were appearing together on a 2005 television pilot. When she pointed out that he had a daughter and pregnant wife, "his face got red and he told me he had issues." The show's producers, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, confirmed the incident and though they discussed halting production, they ultimately continued with the show. "What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful," said Cox, adding that she felt "outrage and shock." "My concern was to create an environment where Rebecca felt safe, protected and heard," said Cox. Corry said she also received a later apology from C.K., who told her, "I used to misread people back then."

A fifth woman spoke out anonymously, claiming that in the late 1990s when she was in her early 20s and working in production at The Chris Rock Show, writer and producer C.K. asked her repeatedly to watch him masturbate. “It was something that I knew was wrong,” said the woman of sitting in his office while he masturbated in his desk chair during a workday, with others just outside the door. "He abused his power," she said.

When contacted by the Times about the claims, C.K.'s publicist Lewis Kay said, "Louis is not going to answer any questions." When reached by THR, C.K. did not have any additional comment.

Notaro had addressed rumors about C.K. when promoting her Amazon series One Mississippi, which premiered in early September. The traumedy is produced under C.K.'s FX Productions-based Pig Newton banner, and though C.K. is a credited executive producer, Notaro said the pair had not spoken in two years and that he is not involved in the show. Though she didn't elaborate on what caused their rift, comparisons were drawn between a sexual assault plotline in the second season and long-unsubstantiated rumors linking C.K. to sexual misconduct toward female comedians.

On One Mississippi, a character (played by Notaro's wife, Stephanie Allynne) is sexually assaulted when her boss masturbates in front of her during a pitch meeting. The scene echoed a past Gawker allegation made by anonymous comedians that gained further traction after a Roseanne Barr interview last year. C.K. addressed the claims in a 2016 interview with Vulture, saying, "I don’t care about that. That’s nothing to me. That’s not real."

After telling the The Daily Beast that C.K. should "handle" the rumors surrounding him, Notaro told THR they explored sexual assault on the show because "we wanted to show that you can be assaulted without even being touched. Nothing can be said and you are still horrifically violated and scared." She added, "I know it’s very uncomfortable. But it’s not not happening." The series premiered only a month before the Weinstein scandal broke, opening the floodgates in Hollywood for women, and men, to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment.

Speaking to the Times, Notaro said she feels "trapped" by her association with C.K., who promoted her now-famous "Hello, I Have Cancer" Largo set about her cancer diagnosis in 2012. "He knew it was going to make him look like a good guy, supporting a woman," she said, adding that she learned of his reputation only after selling One Mississippi to Amazon Studios.

Notaro confirmed to the Times that the season-two storyline is a fictional treatment of the C.K. allegations.

“Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real,” she said by email, “but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.” That includes Goodman and Wolov, who participated in the story. Notaro said she is speaking out to support those who have had the courage “to speak up against such a powerful figure ... as well as the multitude of women still out there, not quite ready to share their nightmares.”

C.K. had refused to engage in the sexual misconduct "rumors" when interviewed by the Times back in September. “I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors,” C.K. initially told the paper. “If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real,” he added. When pressed further, he said again, “They’re rumors, that’s all that is.” 

Though the claims had long circulated, the allegations were from anonymous accusers and only brought to a fever pitch with the upcoming release of his envelope-pushing film I Love You, Daddy, which premiered at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, and after public comments by Notaro. I Love You, Daddy, which C.K. wrote, directed and stars in, tells the story of a TV writer-producer that attempts to stop his 17-year-old daughter’s relationship with a 68-year-old filmmaker and includes controversial dialogue and multiple child-rape jokes.

The official premiere for I Love You, Daddy, slated to take place Thursday in New York City, was canceled earlier in the day due to the forthcoming Times story, a source told The Hollywood Reporter. (Reps for the premiere cited “unexpected circumstances.”)

After the Times story broke, the film's distributor, The Orchard, said the release, slated for Nov. 17, is now under review. “In light of the allegations concerning Louis C.K. referenced in today’s New York Times, we are cancelling tonight’s premiere of I Love You, Daddy," read the statement. "There is never a place for the behavior detailed in these allegations. As a result, we are giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film and continuing to review the situation." (On Friday morning after this story published, The Orchard announced that it would not be moving forward with the release of the film. Shortly after, C.K. released a lengthy statement confirming the claims.)

C.K. was also booked to appear Thursday night on CBS' The Late Show With Stephen Colbert but canceled at the last minute, according to a source. Shameless star William H. Macy will take his place on the late-night talk show.