Comedian Louis C.K., whose pungent and uncensored stand-up routines often comment on the battles taking place beneath the outer veneer of male-female relationships, has been accused by five women of sexual vulgarities and misconduct over the course of at least 15 years.
Comics Rebecca Corry, Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner and Julia Wolov, as well as a fifth woman who spoke on condition on anonymity, told The New York Times in a story published Thursday that the comedian had performed an inappropriate act of a sexual nature in or around their presence, or in at least one case asked permission, which was declined, to do so.
One instance was confirmed by actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette, executive producers of a 2005 pilot with Corry in which C.K., 50, guest-starred. After he asked for her permission to perform an inappropriate sex act, Corry recalled, she reminded the comic that he had a daughter and a pregnant wife. “His face got red and he told me he had issues,” Corry told The Times.
In an email to the paper, Cox wrote, “What happened to Rebecca on that set was awful” and made Cox feel “outrage and shock.” She added, “My concern was to create an environment where Rebecca felt safe, protected and heard,” and discussed canceling the project. Corry instead left voluntarily, telling the paper, “Things were going well for me and I had no interest in being the person who shut down a production.”
Others told the paper of having attempted to speak out and then feeling backlash from the comedy community.
Comedian Tig Notaro, who did not herself experience such sexual misconduct by C.K. — a longtime colleague and an executive producer of her Amazon series “One Mississippi” — told The Times in an email, “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real, but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.”
C.K.’s publicist, Lewis Kay, told The Times in an email, “Louis is not going to answer any questions,” and did not respond to more detailed requests, including in voice messages and texts.
The Manhattan premiere of C.K.’s upcoming film, “I Love You, Daddy,” scheduled for Thursday, was canceled, and the comedian withdrew from an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
In the wake of the report, HBO announced it was cutting ties with C.K. and said in a statement the comedian would no longer participate in its benefit program “Night of Too Many Stars America Unites for Autism Programs” on Nov. 18. FX Networks, which ran C.K.’s series “Louie” from 2010 until 2015, issued a statement Thursday saying the company was “very troubled by the allegations” and they would thoroughly investigate whether any misconduct happened on his show.
In related news Thursday:
-A representative for Charlie Sheen told People magazine the actor “absolutely denies the claim” by a friend of the late Corey Haim that a 19-year-old Sheen had had sex with a 13-year-old Haim during production of their 1986 film, “Lucas.”
-Action star Steven Segal did not respond publicly to a tweet by Portia De Rossi Wednesday, in which the actress wrote that during the final audition for a part in one of his movies, “He told me how important it was to have chemistry off-screen as he sat me down and unzipped his leather pants. I ran out and called my agent.”
-Advertising executive Tiffany Bacon Scourby, became the third woman in recent days to accuse actor Jeremy Piven of sexual misconduct. Piven told People in a statement, “Let me be absolutely clear, this simply did not happen. I would never force myself on a woman, ever. I cannot speak as to why a person would create a story like this.”
-Veteran costume designer Susan Bertram told The Hollywood Reporter that actor Robert Knepper (“Prison Break”) had sexually assaulted her during filming of the 1992 drama “Gas Food Lodging.” Knepper replied on Instagram, “Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have discussed the pain women have experienced and the bravery they have shown in coming forward. I am shocked and devastated to be falsely accused of violence against a woman. That’s just not who I am.”