In a report published by The New York Times on Thursday, five different women alleged that comedian Louis C.K. masturbated in front of them in person or during phone calls or asked them if he could do so. Rumors about C.K.'s sexual misconduct have floated around the internet since 2012, when the now-defunct website Gawker published a "blind item" about a beloved male comedian — believed to be C.K.— who invited two female comics back to his room during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, and masturbated in front of them.
Thursday's Times article confirmed the rumored incident in Aspen, as comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julie Wolov recounted their story. "He really did it,” Goodman told the Times. "He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating."
All of the women who spoke to the Times were involved in comedy or TV and feared that speaking out would damage their careers. C.K.'s manager, Dave Becky, denied that he'd ever intimidated his client's alleged victims. "I don't recall the exact specifics of the conversation, but know I never threatened anyone," Becky told the Times in an email.
Although C.K. dismissed the long-swirling allegations of his sexual misconduct as "rumors" as recently as June of this year, the Times reports that the comedian privately apologized to several of his victims long before the accusations became public knowledge. Rebecca Corry, who declined C.K's request to masturbate in front of her in 2005, said the comedian called her to apologize for shoving her into a bathroom. Corry corrected C.K., she said, telling him that he had asked to masturbate in front of her, to which she said he replied, "I used to misread people back then."
In an email sent to the Times, C.K.'s publicist said "Louis is not going to answer any questions." Read more about the allegations at The New York Times.