Comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov allege that while with C.K., 50, in his hotel room after their show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in 2002, he “proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”
Comedian Rebecca Corry alleges that C.K. “asked if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me” while filming a TV pilot in 2005, and writer Abby Schachner alleges she heard him masturbating through the phone during a 2003 call. A fifth, anonymous woman alleges that while working on The Chris Rock Show in the late 1990s, C.K. masturbated while she sat with him in his office, and a co-worker corroborated her story to the Times.
“It was something that I knew was wrong,” she told the paper. “I think the big piece of why I said yes was because of the culture. He abused his power.”
Courteney Cox and David Arquette, executive producers of the show Corry was working on, confirmed the alleged incident to the Times, with the actress saying, “What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful.”
C.K.’s publicist told the Times his client would not comment on the accusations.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, a spokesperson for FX Networks — which has a long-working relationship with C.K. — said, “We are obviously very troubled by the allegations about Louis C.K. published in The New York Times today. 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.”
The New York premiere of his film, I Love You, Daddy, was cancelled Thursday ahead of the story being published.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor’s appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert — which he was scheduled to tape Friday — was also canceled, with Shameless star William H. Macy taking his place on the CBS show.
I Love You Daddy, which tells the story of a successful TV writer-producer who attempts to put a stop to a growing romance between his 17-year-old daughter and a 68-year-old filmmaker, has generated plenty of controversy in the past few months.
The movie, which the comedian wrote and directed, is full of controversial dialogue and jokes about child rape and sexual harassment.
C.K. defended the film in September, telling THR, “We’re depicting oxygen-rich people who live in these beautiful apartments and offices saying whatever they want,” he said. “Folks say s— to each other. You can’t think about the audience when you’re making the thing. If you do, you’re not giving them something that came out of your gut. You’ll be making something that you’re like, ‘Is this OK for you?'”
The film comes at a time in which powerful men in Hollywood — including movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey — are being accused of sexual harassment in and out of the work place.
Fellow comedian Tig Notaro, who worked with C.K. on Amazon’s One Mississippi, revealed to The Daily Beast in August that she and C.K. had a falling out and hadn’t spoken in over a year and a half.
Notaro, who does not claim to have first-hand knowledge of any of C.K.’s alleged misbehavior, spoke briefly about the sexual misconduct rumors surrounding C.K., saying, “I think it’s important to take care of that, to handle that, because it’s serious to be assaulted. It’s serious to be harassed. It’s serious, it’s serious, it’s serious.”
C.K. addressed the reports in a Times article, saying, “I’m not going to answer to that stuff, because they’re rumors. If you actually participate in a rumor, you make it bigger and you make it real.”
He added, “I don’t know why [Notaro] said the things she’s said, I really don’t. I don’t think talking about that stuff in the press and having conversations over press lanes is a good idea.”
In Thursday’s Times story, Notaro said, “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real, but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.”
Schachner said that in 2009, C.K. reached out apologizing for the alleged incident six years earlier. According to the Times, he wrote in a Facebook message, “Last time I talked to you ended in a sordid fashion. That was a bad time in my life and I’m sorry.” Schachner said she accepted the apology but told the Times, “I remember thinking what a repulsive person I was being by responding the way that I did.”
Corry said C.K. emailed and then called her in 2015.
According to the Times, “When he phoned her, he said he was sorry for shoving her in a bathroom. Ms. Corry replied that he had never done that, but had instead asked to masturbate in front of her. Responding in a shaky voice, he acknowledged it and said, ‘I used to misread people back then,’ she recalled.”