Jeremy Piven 'Unequivocally' Denies Sexual Assault Allegations by Reality Star Who Claims He 'Forcefully Fondled' Her
Actress, reality TV star and Playboy Playmate Ariane Bellamar also alleges Piven sent her "abusive, explicit" text messages
Jeremy Piven is denying the sexual assault allegations brought against him by actress, reality TV star and Playboy Playmate Ariane Bellamar.
“I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me. It did not happen,” Piven, 52, said in a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday. “It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard.”
CBS, which airs Piven-starrer Wisdom of the Crowd, also issued a statement to Deadline: “We are aware of the media reports and are looking into the matter.”
In a series of tweets on Monday, Bellamar alleged that the 52-year-old actor — he starred as Ari Gold on the hit HBO show, which ran for eight seasons from 2004-11 — groped her on the set of Entourage and at the Playboy Mansion.
She tweeted: “Jeremy Piven, on two occasions, cornered me & forcefully fondled my breasts & bum. Once at the mansion & once on set.”
“Today, via the press reports, is the first we are hearing about Ariane Bellamar’s allegations concerning Jeremy Piven,” an HBO spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday. “Everyone at HBO and our productions is aware that zero tolerance for sexual harassment is our policy. Anyone experiencing an unsafe working environment has several avenues for making complaints that we take very seriously.”
Bellamar, who has appeared on Millionaire Matchmaker and Beverly Hills Nannies, did not clarify when the alleged on-set incident took place. Her IMDb page does not list any Entourage credits.
RELATED VIDEO: PEOPLE Cover Story: Breaking Down the Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault & Harassment Scandal
Bellamar’s tweets come as numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations continue to ripple through Hollywood.
The firestorm was sparked after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein, 65, came to light in an Oct. 5 New York Times exposé, in which eight women — including actress Ashley Judd — accused the movie mogul of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan, who later accused him of rape on Twitter.
The allegations were compounded by an investigation by the New Yorker, and several more women have leveled allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein, including Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. (Of the accusations, a spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”)