Louis C.K. has apologized and expressed remorse for sexual encounters he had with female actors and comedians that were described in an expose on the comedian published Thursday by the New York Times.
C.K. confirmed the truth of the stories shared by five women in the Times story. He said he plans to "step back and take a long time to listen" as he comes to grips with the impact of his past behavior. The Times story detailed claims from the late 1990s through the mid-2000s of C.K. exposing himself and masturbating in front of women.
"The power I had over these women is that they admired me," he wrote. "And I wielded that power irresponsibly." He also apologized to his family and his longtime manager, 3 Arts' Dave Becky, who was accused in the Times story of pressuring women to not talk about their encounters with C.K.
The fallout for the comedian has been swift. Indie distributor the Orchard scrapped plans for the Nov. 17 release of the movie I Love You, Daddy, an auteur vehicle for C.K. that he self financed. Netflix scrapped a planned comedy special and HBO quickly announced it would remove all C.K.-related programs from its on-demand and streaming platforms.
Late Thursday, FX said it would "review" the allegations and the many projects that it has in the works with C.K. through his Pig Newton banner, which has a production pact with FX Productions. Pig Newton is a producer of FX's acclaimed comedy starring Pamela Adlon, Better Things, and of Zach Galifianakis' Baskets, among other shows.
Here is C.K.'s statement in full:
I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.
These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question. It's a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
I have been remorseful of my actions. And I've tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I'm aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn't want to hear it. I didn't think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it.
There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.
I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.
The hardest regret to live with is what you've done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I'd be remiss to exclude the hurt that I've brought on people who I work with and have worked with who's professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of Better Things, Baskets, The Cops, One Mississippi, and I Love You Daddy. I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I've brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie. and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I've brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Thank you for reading.
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