Louis C.K. Holds Hands with French Actress Blanche Gardin amid Sexual Misconduct Scandal

Louis C.K. was all smiles during an outing with Blance Gardin in New York City

Is Louis C.K. dating French actress Blanche Gardin?

The 51-year-old comedian was photographed holding hands with Gardin, 41, in New York City on Tuesday, when they strolled hand-in-hand while shopping around the city.

His apparent new romance comes nearly a year after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct. He admitted to the allegations and apologized in a statement last November, stating, “These stories are true. … There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.”

It also comes on the heels of actress Sarah Silverman‘s claims that he used to masturbate in front of her consensually when the two were coming up in comedy together.

During an interview on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show on Monday, Silverman said of C.K., “I love him, he’s my brother. I’ve known him since I was 19.”

EXCLUSIVE: Louis CK is Spotted Holding Hands with French Comedian Blanche Gardin in New York City.

“It’s so hard to talk about. It’s all very black-and-white until it comes to your front door and the bad guy is someone you love. Listen, what he did was wrong. I would not say it was analogous to the serial rapist Bill Cosby, I would not say it’s even close to Harvey Weinstein. … I’m not saying that’s okay. Because once he got famous, even just in the comedy community, that changes everything and it makes it not okay,” she continued.

“I don’t know if I’m going to regret saying this,” she said. “I’ve known Louis forever. I’m not making excuses for him. Please don’t take this that way. But, you know, we are peers. We’re equals. When we were kids and he used to ask if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I’d go, ‘F— yeah, I want to see that!’ It was like science.”

Silverman said her situation with C.K. was “not analogous” to the women who came forward with allegations against the comedian in a New York Times article last year, because unlike those women, “he could offer me nothing.” (She later apologized to C.K. accuser Rebecca Corry for the remark.)


C.K.’s attorney and Silverman’s rep did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

During a stand-up set earlier this month, the comedian reportedly addressed the multiple sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

While performing at West Side Comedy Club in New York City, the Louie star opened his set with “It’s been a weird year,” according to Laughspin.com, an online comedy news site.

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

“He said he’s been to hell and back,” a comedian on the line-up told the website.

FX severed ties with C.K., whose shows Louie and Better Things aired on the network, after the scandal broke. C.K. was dropped by all his reps, too, while Netflix canceled an upcoming stand-up special and HBO cut all of his content from its library. Orchard also canceled the release of his film I Love You, Daddy — though C.K. bought the rights to the title back.

“I lost $35 million in an hour,” he reportedly said during the set.

While his performance was met with mixed reviews from the audience, a comedian told Laughspin.com that C.K. seemed “much more confident” than he was during prior shows.

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