Louis C.K. Accuser on Coming Forward: "Staying Silent Was Not Helping"

Rebecca Corry - 2015 NBCUniversal Press Tour - Getty - H 2018
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"I'd been forced into a lose-lose situation," Rebecca Corry wrote in an essay.

Rebecca Corry was one of five women to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Louis C.K. in a New York Times story in November. In an essay published in Vulture, Corry opens up about why she decided to go public with her claims against C.K. and the aftermath of that decision.

Nearly six months after the allegations, Corry wrote, "It's become clear that many people have no understanding of just how extensive and complicated the ramifications of what C.K. did have been and continue to be. They didn't end the day it happened and won't end any time soon for me, a comedian who has now spoken out against one of her own."

"The day Louis C.K. asked to masturbate in front of me on the set of the TV show we were shooting, I was put on an unspoken 'list' I never asked or wanted to be on. And being on that list has not made my work as a writer, actress and comedian any easier," she wrote. Corry also stated that she had no intention of becoming the face of a movement or being seen as a victim. If anything, she wanted to stay as far away from C.K. as possible. "For 12 years, I actively tried to not be part of the C.K. masturbation narrative. But no matter how hard I tried, it kept finding me — at work-related events, on TV sets, social settings and comedy clubs. I'd hear people defending him while unabashedly tearing apart the women who'd tried to bring what he was doing to light. It angered me and felt shameful to sit in silence, but I did, because I didn't want to be a part of it."

Corry explained that she attended an event in which she overheard a woman attacking Tig Notaro for encouraging women to address allegations against C.K. weeks before she went public with her experience. "It really pissed me off," Corry recalled. "This time, I didn't stay silent. I confronted the woman, defended Tig, and told her my experience. It was uncomfortable, embarrassing and a real party-stopper. A couple weeks later, I was at a work-related event where I left feeling humiliated and disrespected by someone I liked who is close to C.K. I was hurt and stayed up all night wondering why it happened and what this person could have been told about me. The next day, I was exhausted and furious. I had no choice but to face the fact that I'd been forced into a lose-lose situation, and staying silent was not helping."

"I then took time to look at myself and my role in all of this. I considered the further personal and professional consequences there would be. The awkwardness it would cause with certain people, and how vulnerable it would make me. The fact that my name would be connected to his for speaking out made me sick," she wrote.

After considering her work to save victimized dogs, she knew she had to come forward: "Every single day, I implore people to stand up for victims, but I wasn't even standing up for myself. For these reasons, and for others too personal to mention, I made the difficult decision to change the narrative by telling the truth?."

She went on to explain that ever since speaking out, she has received backlash, as well as received "death threats, been berated, judged, ridiculed, dismissed, shamed and attacked?."

Corry wrote that people have belittled C.K.'s actions by saying that masturbating in front of her was not a big deal and that she should get over it because he apologized. She wrote, "But he didn't. Admitting what you did, and justifying it with 'I always asked first,' is not the same as apologizing."

In the essay, Corry also called out comedians that used her and the other victims' experiences as a punch line. "Dave Chappelle, a self-proclaimed 'feminist,' used his Netflix special as an opportunity to single out one of the C.K. accusers, saying she has a 'brittle-ass spirit,'" she wrote. She also pointed out the lack of support she received from the men of late-night television. "To see certain outspoken late-night talk-show hosts relentlessly go after Weinstein, Trump and others for their misconduct and avoid mentioning C.K.'s name is just weird. I wonder, if he did what he did to their wives, sisters, mothers or daughters, would it still be not worth mentioning??"

"It's also been heartbreaking to see people I liked and respected lie and defend him. Two close friends I'd trusted and confided in for years, who were at the taping when it happened, refused to corroborate what happened to me in the New York Times using their names. Other friends simply stopped communicating with me," she wrote. "Speaking out feels like standing in front of the world naked under fluorescent lights on a really bad day. I knew making myself so vulnerable would bring scrutiny from the outside, but my personal life has also been damaged by my decision to tell the truth."

With all of the hard times Corry has faced since coming forward, she also shed light on some positive aspects of the experience. "A well-known female comedian publicly acknowledged her friendship with and love for C.K. while at the same time condemning his behavior. She showed her support for the people he victimized and challenged everyone to do better. I appreciated that because I understand how uncomfortable, weird, gross and awful this situation is for people to deal with and talk about," she wrote. "I don't expect any of C.K.'s pals to disavow their friendships or deny his talent, but acknowledgement of abusers, and support for the abused, is needed for change to happen."

Corry concluded the essay by stating that it would be "disturbing" if C.K. made a comeback. "A 'comeback' implies he's the underdog and victim, and he is neither. C.K. is a rich, powerful man who was fully aware that his actions were wrong. Yet he chose to behave grotesquely simply because he could. The only issue that matters is whether he will choose to stop abusing women," she wrote. "Everyone deserves to do their job without fear of being forced into an impossible situation. And no one should ever be attacked or judged for standing up for themselves."