Rebecca Corry — who told The New York Times in a report published Thursday that the comedian asked if he could masturbate in front of her while filming a TV pilot in 2005 — detailed her experience in a new interview with ABC News.
“It was just actually sort of common knowledge in the comedy world,” she said of the allegations of C.K.’s sexual misconduct, which he has since admitted are “true” in a lengthy statement.
“People made jokes about it all the time,” Corry said.
Asked why it remained an open secret, Corry said the comedy world is one in which there is a lot of allegiance and a lot of fear, which doesn’t make it a comfortable place to speak out.
“When you’re that powerful and you’re generating that kind of money and you can literally knight someone’s life by giving them a show, you know, that’s what going to happen,” she said of C.K., 50.
Corry, a 46-year-old comedian, writer and actress who has appeared in 2 Broke Girls, reiterated her 2005 experience with C.K. At the time, Corry was working as a performer and producer on a television pilot when C.K., a guest star, approached her as she was walking to the set.
“I was walking to set to shoot my scene and he approached me and got really close to my face and said, ‘Can I ask you something?’ ” she told ABC News. “I said yes, and he said, ‘Can I masturbate in front of you in your dressing room?’ “
Corry declined, and when the show’s executive producers Courteney Cox and David Arquette found out, they were disturbed and supportive. (Both confirmed the incident to the Times.) They discussed curtailing production, but Corry opted to continue with the show.
“I wanted to sort of pretend like it never happened,” she said. “I mean, I wanted to do my job. Those opportunities are few and far between. I most certainly didn’t want to be the person that was responsible for shutting down a production, or even being part of the narrative.”
Corry said if she could do it all over again, she would have shut down production that day.
“I would have confronted it, and I would have dealt with it then,” she said. “Because I have learned that doing nothing, saying nothing, is not helpful.”
Corry is one of five women to accuse C.K. of sexual misconduct in the Times‘ bombshell report. Comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov said that while with C.K. 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.”
Writer Abby Schachner said she heard him masturbating through the phone during a 2003 call, and a fifth, anonymous woman said 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.
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A day after the Times report was published, C.K. confirmed the validity of the stories. (Read his full statement here.)
“At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d— without asking first, which is also true,” he said. “But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your d— isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.”
“The power I had over these women is that they admired me,” he added. “And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”
The blowback has been swift: The New York premiere of C.K.’s new movie, I Love You, Daddy, was canceled 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.
Distributor The Orchard has announced it will not release the film as planned on Nov. 17, and 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.”
Several media companies have also cut ties with the comedian: On Friday, his longtime network partner FX announced it has ended its association with him effective immediately.
His overall production deal with FX was canceled, and he lost his role as executive producer — as well as the compensation that came with that title — on the FX comedy shows Better Things and Baskets, the Amazon series One Mississippi, and a TBS animated series, The Cops.
Netflix, which struck a deal with C.K. to create two new stand-up specials for the streaming service, announced on Friday that it will not produce the planned second special. (The first was released in April.)
HBO also dropped C.K. from the lineup of Night of Too Many Stars, a comedy benefit set to air Saturday.