Ed. note: This piece contains graphic descriptions that may be upsetting to some readers.
On Thursday afternoon, the New York Times published an investigative piece in which five women came forward accusing comedian Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct. In the article, two fellow performers, Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, recount an experience at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado in 2002 when C.K. invited them to his hotel room, asked if he could take out his penis, removed his clothes, and masturbated in front of them. The Times story contains descriptions of similar behavior from other women dating back to the late 1990s.
Today, C.K. released a statement confirming these allegations.
"These stories are true," C.K. wrote in his statement, which was released by his publicist (who has since dropped his client). "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."