Aziz Ansari Responds to Allegation of Sexual Misconduct: "I Took Her Words to Heart"
"It was true that everything did seem OK to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned," the 'Master of None' star says.
Aziz Ansari has responded to an anonymous woman's claim of sexual misconduct in a story posted on Babe.net.
The woman, identified as a 23-year-old photographer based in Brooklyn, said her path crossed with the Master of None star and co-creator in September at the 2017 Emmy Awards, where she gave him her number at his request (he won an Emmy that night for best comedy series writing, an honor he'd also received a year earlier). After a week of texting, he asked her out on a date that ended with her in tears and feeling "violated," which she told him the next day.
Ansari said in a statement Sunday that he "took her words to heart" at the time and reached out to her privately "after taking the time to process what she had said." He added that he continues to support anti-sexual assault and harassment movements like #MeToo and Time's Up.
In the Babe story, the woman said she met Ansari at his Manhattan apartment and then they went to an oyster bar. Afterward, they walked back to his apartment, where she complimented his countertops, made out of marble.
"He said something along the lines of, 'How about you hop up and take a seat?'" He then began kissing her, she claimed, and "in a second, his hand was on my breast." He began undressing her and then himself, she alleges, and then he said he was going to get a condom. "I said something like, 'Whoa, let's relax for a sec, let's chill.'"
He continued kissing her and then performed oral sex on her briefly, she claims. "It was really quick," she said. "Everything was pretty much touched and done within 10 minutes of hooking up, except for actual sex."
She also alleged that he pulled her hand toward his penis "five to seven" times even after she moved it away and said he wouldn't let her move away from him: "It was 30 minutes of me getting up and moving and him following and sticking his fingers down my throat again. It was really repetitive. It felt like a fucking game."
She added: "I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn't interested. I don't think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored."
She said that, after spending a few minutes in the bathroom, she told him she felt uncomfortable, and he seemed to understand, but then not long after she felt pressured to give him oral sex and he continued to ask repeatedly, "Where do you want me to fuck you?"
He also continued to aggressively kiss her before she finally left: "I cried the whole ride home. At that point, I felt violated. That last hour was so out of my hand."
She texted him the next day, telling him how "uneasy" his behavior made her feel. According to a text she saved that allegedly is from Ansari, he responded: "Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I'm truly sorry."
His full statement, released Sunday via his rep:
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.