Comedian Louis CK has issued a statement admitting that the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him in the past 24 hours are "true", and that he will "step back" from his career.
CK, whose real name is Louis Székely, was the subject of a New York Times report published on Friday in which five women claimed he either pleasured himself in front of them, asked to do it or did so over the phone. While one woman was not identified, the other four were female comedians Dana Min Goodman, Abby Schachner, Julia Wolov and Rebecca Corry.
CK's statement was posted on Twitter by New York Times journalist Dave Itzkoff. In it, he writes:
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 d--- 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 d--- isn't a question. It's a predicament for them.
He went on to add: "There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for."
CK concluded his lengthy statement by saying he will "step back" from his career: "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."
The statement comes after CK's publicist told The New York Times that the comedian would not respond to their reporting.
In anticipation of the report, the New York premiere of Louis C.K.’s controversial new film I Love You, Daddy was cancelled on Thursday night and CK’s scheduled Friday appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert has also been scrapped.