"I have been remorseful of my actions. And I've tried to learn from them."
Louis C.K. is speaking out after several women accused him of sexual misconduct in a New York Times expose that was published on Thursday afternoon.
On Friday, the 50-year-old comedian released a lengthy statement, where he addressed the allegations for the first time. In the Times article, five women accuse C.K. of either asking to masturbate in front of them, or masturbating in front of them without their consent.
MORE: Louis C.K.'s 'I Love You, Daddy' Movie Will Not be Released Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
While the recent accusations date back to the 1990s, media speculation surrounding C.K.'s behavior started in 2012. The five-time Emmy winner, however, has repeatedly refused to address rumors even as they've gained more momentum over the years ...until now.
Here is C.K.'s statement in its entirety:
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.
Since the release of the Times piece, C.K. has received quite a bit of backlash.
It was announced on Friday that movie distributor The Orchard would not be releasing his film, I Love You, Daddy, which is about a successful television writer (C.K.), whose 17-year-old daughter (Chloe Grace Moretz) becomes the interest of an aging filmmaker (John Malkovich) with an appalling past.
HBO and Netflix, who have worked with C.K. in the past, have also pulled out of projects with the comedian, and FX -- the network which airs his Emmy-winning show, Louie -- said in a statement that it was “very troubled” by the allegations and was reviewing the matter.