Whitney Cummings Speaks Out About Allegations Against Former Costar Chris D'Elia's 'Predatory Behavior'
"Now that I'm aware, I won't be silent," wrote Whitney Cummings, who worked with Chris D'Elia on her sitcom Whitney from 2011 to 2013
Whitney Cummings is speaking out about her former costar Chris D'Elia's alleged sexual misconduct with underage girls.
Earlier this week, multiple women came forward on Twitter with allegations that D'Elia — a 40-year-old stand-up comedian and actor who recently starred on Netflix's You — "groomed" them from their teen years and requested sexual photos via the internet. D'Elia has not been criminally or civilly charged.
"I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point. All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me," D'Elia said in a previous statement to PEOPLE.
"That being said, I really am truly sorry," he continued. "I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better."
Reacting to the accusations, Cummings, 37, tweeted that she is "devastated and enraged" by the claims. (D'Elia starred opposite Cummings on her sitcom Whitney from 2011 to 2013.)
"It's taken me a couple days to process the information I have learned about Chris," she wrote. "I'm devastated and enraged by what I've read and learned. This is a pattern of predatory behavior. This abuse of power is enabled by silence."
"Now that I'm aware," Cummings continued. "I won't be silent."
Cummings added, "Girls should be able to be a fan of a comedian they admire without becoming a sexual target. It's the adult's responsibility to be an adult."
Five women spoke about their claims to The Los Angeles Times in a story published on Saturday. In a statement to PEOPLE, Simone Rossi, one of the women who came forward on Twitter, explained why she decided to speak out.
"It took me a long time to realize what happened to me wasn’t just a funny joke to tell at parties," she said. "I was being preyed on, and when you’re that young, and especially when you’re talking to someone so famous, you think it’s cool and exciting. It took years until it finally clicked and I realized 'that seemed off.'"
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Rossi, who said she began contact with D'Elia while she was in high school, told PEOPLE that she wishes she "could have told myself that it was more creepy than exciting."
"I wish I could have said to myself, 'Why do you think this much-older man is talking to a high schooler in Arizona?' " she said. "It’s frustrating for myself that it took me so long to realize it wasn’t normal or acceptable."
"As for what I would say to Chris, what can you say to someone who preys on young girls?" Rossi added. "To someone who tried to groom you, but also has possibly groomed and, based on the stories others have shared with me, possibly assaulted other girls? ... Time is up. I won’t let this happen to other young girls. I want him to know that I have a voice and I’m sure using it."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.