New York — Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of sexual misconduct toward several women, including masturbating in front of them to their horror and embarrassment, according to a report in The New York Times.
Comedians Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner, Julia Wolov, Rebecca Corry allege the Emmy-winning star of FX's Louie either pleasured himself in front of them, asked to do it or did so over the phone. A fifth woman detailed her allegations against C.K. to the paper but was not identified.
A publicist and a lawyer for C.K. did not immediately respond to comment from The Associated Press. Another publicist told the Times the comedian would not respond to their reporting. Schachner, who claims she heard C.K. masturbating on the phone in 2003, declined comment to The AP and representatives for the other three named women did not immediately return messages seeking comment
Corry alleges the comedian, while she was working on TV pilot in 2005, asked "if we could go to my dressing room so he could masturbate in front of me." She declined "and he told me he had issues." The show's executive producers, Courteney Cox and David Arquette confirmed Corry's account to the Times. Cindy Guagenti, Arquette's representative, told The AP her client had nothing more to add.
In anticipation of the report, the New York premiere of Louis C.K.'s controversial new film I Love You, Daddy was cancelled on Thursday night and C.K.'s scheduled Friday appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert also has been scrapped. The small distribution company handling the release of I Love You Daddy said it is reviewing the situation and giving careful consideration to the timing and release of the film.
C.K. is among the latest Hollywood figures to be accused of misconduct in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
'Warts-and-all personal humour'
Known for his candid, warts-and-all personal humour, which often includes bodily fluids and sex, C.K. grew up outside Boston. He performed stand-up sets in New York and eventually landed writing gig on Conan O'Brien's Late Night and David Letterman's Late Show.
He went on to become the head writer of The Dana Carvey Show from 1995-96 and contributed to the animated TV Funhouse vignettes on Saturday Night Live.
He was a writer on The Chris Rock Show and voiced patients on the Comedy Central's Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. He also wrote and directed the film Pootie Tang with Rock, an infamous bomb.
In a 2014 episode of his FX series Louie, the title character played by C.K. pushes himself on a longtime friend and sometime flame, Pamela. She's played by actress-writer Pamela Adlon of Better Things.
In the scene, Pamela rebuffs his efforts to pull her into his bedroom as he paws at her. "This would be rape if you weren't so stupid. My God, you can't even rape well," she says.
C.K.'s comedy writing and production tentacles spread throughout TV and film. He's credited as a creator of the Zach Galifianakis show Baskets, in its third season on FX, and of Pamela Adlon's show Better Things, now in its second season on FX. He is also developing another series for FX called The Cops in which he's set to star opposite Albert Brooks. C.K. is an executive producer of comedian Tig Notaro's Amazon series, One Mississippi. He starred in a Netflix special earlier this year that was nominated for two Emmy Awards.
He also appeared on several episodes of Parks and Recreation in 2012 and creator Mike Schur apologised Thursday for including C.K. On Twitter, he admitted to hearing rumors but still using the comedian. "I'm sorry," he wrote.
I don't remember when I heard the rumors about him. But I'm sure it was before the last time he was on Parks and Rec. And that sucks. And I'm sorry.— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 9, 2017
C.K.'s new film, I Love You, Daddy, had its premiere this summer at the Toronto International Film Festival. C.K., who co-starred in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, said he and co-writer Vernon Chatman wanted to make a movie about beloved artists who are trailed by murmurs of scandal.
Some also see the black-and-white 35mm film as C.K.'s response to his own controversies. Allegations of questionable sexual behaviour long have dogged C.K. and Roseanne Barr has said there are "multiple accusations" and Notaro advised C.K. to "handle" the rumours.
In the film, C.K. plays a successful TV producer whose 17-year-old daughter begins a relationship with an older director. It spawns a kind of crisis for C.K.'s character, who has his own issues with how he treats women.