In the Times report, comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov alleged 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 alleged 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. Courteney Cox and David Arquette, executive producers of the show Corry was working on, confirmed the alleged incident to the Times.
Writer Abby Schachner alleged she heard him masturbating through the phone during a 2003 call, and a fifth, anonymous woman alleged that while working on The Chris Rock Show in the late 1990s, C.K. masturbated while she sat with him in his office. A co-worker corroborated her story to the newspaper.
C.K.’s publicist told PEOPLE on Thursday that “in the coming days, Louis will issue a written statement.”
Since the allegations came to light, an old clip from a 2011 episode of C.K.’s FX series Louie, in which the comedian plays a fictionalized version of himself, has resurfaced. In the clip, C.K. — who frequently jokes about masturbation in his comedy acts — defended the act during a parody debate on Fox News with Greg Gutfeld, playing himself, and a character named Ellen Farber from a fictional group called “Christians Against Masturbation.”
Gutfeld jokingly introduced the comedian as an “aficionado of masturbation, a man who is well-known for being a prolific masturbator, who even brags about it.”
“That’s fair,” C.K. said. “I like it. It’s easy, and it’s fun and nobody gets hurt.”
His opponent kicked off the debate by claiming that married couples should “enjoy each other” under God’s “loving gaze.”
“You mean that God watches married people have sex?” C.K. said. “So we’re like, porn for God? He watches us, and then he probably masturbates.”
“How can you tell people not to masturbate?” he asked. “Nobody can not do it. Since there’s been people, all of them, every single person, ever, has masturbated. Napoleon masturbated. Gandhi, Joan Jett, Shakespeare. It’s like telling people not to breathe. It’s not fair.”
Asked if he’s ever tried not to masturbate, C.K. responded: “Well, sometimes I won’t do it for like, a week. But that’s just so that when I do it again, it’ll be way better.”
“You know what really pisses me off about people like you?” he continued, turning to his opponent. “You think you can tell other people that you’ve got to the keys to how to be happy. You don’t know me, okay? And you don’t know God. God probably hates people like you that try to tell other people what to do.”
“Wow, masturbation is really important to you,” she responded.
“Yeah, it is. It keeps me sane,” he said. “I’m a good citizen, I’m a good father, I recycle and I masturbate. And I’m proud of it. And God’s happy. And later I’m going to masturbate, and I’m going to think about you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
FX announced in August 2015 that Louie would go on an “extended hiatus.” In a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, a spokesperson for the network — which has a long working relationship with C.K. — said they are reviewing the matter in light of the allegations.
“We are obviously very troubled by the allegations about Louis C.K. published in The New York Times today,” said the spokesperson. “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 C.K.’s new movie, I Love You, Daddy, was cancelled Thursday just hours before the Times story was published. The dark comedy, which the comedian wrote and directed, is full of controversial dialogue and jokes about child rape and sexual harassment.
On Friday, distributor The Orchard announced it will not release the film as planned on Nov. 17.
Actress Chloë Grace Moretz, who plays C.K.’s daughter in the film, released a statement saying she decided two weeks ago to pull out of promoting the project “after becoming aware of potential allegations against Louis C.K.”
“I was as appalled as everyone to read the allegations made in the New York Times,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I do not condone sexual misconduct and, in light of the allegations, will not be promoting the movie further.”