Rumors of comedian Louis C.K. masturbating in front of female comedians had been circulating for years prior to the publication of a New York Times exposé on Thursday, in which five women accused C.K. of sexual misconduct, with some alleging that he masturbated in front of them.
Ahead of the article's publication, C.K.'s frequent collaborator Pamela Adlon reluctantly commented on the rumors about C.K. in an interview with KCRW's The Business conducted by The Hollywood Reporter editor-at-large Kim Masters, who also hosts the radio show. It was widely known the Times story was brewing when Adlon sat for the interview, so Masters felt compelled to ask about the rumors.
“It hurts to read about things that people are saying about him,” Adlon, who stars in and serves as an executive producer alongside C.K. on FX's Better Things, began. "All I know is that, I know about him as being my partner on a show that is the opposite of any of this kind of horrible, negative things.”
C.K. also has a creator credit on Better Things, which FX last month renewed for a third season.
Adlon, who hasn't commented on the Times report, added on KCRW earlier this week: “He’s a person of integrity and he takes care of people and he’s an incredible collaborator and everybody that I know, knows that about him. He’s a good man. It’s just painful. It hurts right now, because people should be celebrating him, because he’s part of my show. We wrote the whole season together. It’s really hard and it’s confusing and I hate the whole thing. “
Adlon has not responded to KCRW's request to see if she wanted to revise or add to her comments. Separately she has not responded to THR's request for a comment on the Times story.
C.K. is just the latest high-profile figure to be accused of sexual harassment or assault, following similar claims made against Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, James Toback and Harvey Weinstein, among others.
With more and more women coming forward claiming that they've been harassed or assaulted, Aldon said those revelations aren’t as surprising as people may think. After being asked about Weinstein during a press tour, Adlon was quick to emphasize that women face assaults and misconduct more than they're believed. Sharing her former response, Adlon said, “I said, ‘All I can tell you is that if I gathered all the women that I knew in one room, I could say, 'How old were you and where did it happen?' And they would all raise their hands.”
In the wake of the claims against C.K., FX, where the comedian has a massive overall deal and is also credited as a creator and executive producer on Zach Galifianakis' Baskets, said it would “take necessary actions” as needed.
“We are obviously very troubled by the allegations about Louis C.K. published in The New York Times today," the statement reads. "The network has received no allegations of misconduct by Louis C.K. related to any of our five shows produced together over the past eight years. FX Networks and FXP take all necessary actions to protect our employees and thoroughly investigate any allegations of misconduct within our workplace. That said, the matter is currently under review.”
C.K. said: "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."
The comedian added, “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.”