Culture

Sarah Silverman Says Louis C.K. Masturbated in Front of Her, Defends Him

As Louis C.K. slowly makes his comeback into the world of entertainment amid a series of sexual misconduct allegations, stand-up comedian and actress Sarah Silverman said on Monday that Louis C.K. would masturbate in front of her when they were children. She later apologized for her remarks after Rebecca Corry, an actress who had accused C.K. of sexual misconduct, slammed Silverman's comments on Twitter.

In a new interview with SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, the 47-year-old I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman host explained how her experience with her longtime pal was "not analogous to the other women that are talking about what he did to them." Instead, she suggested the two were "letting our freak flags fly."

"I know I'm going to regret saying this. I've known Louis forever. I'm not making excuses for him, so please don't take this that way. We are peers. We are equals," Silverman told host Howard Stern on Monday. "Sometimes I'd go, 'F*** yeah, I want to see that!'...We were only just friends. Sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it. It was amazing. Sometimes I would say, 'F***ing no, gross,' and we got pizza."

Silverman retracted her earlier sentiment following Corry's criticism. At the time, Corry suggested C.K. "took away a day I worked years for and still has no remorse." Corry also called C.K. "a predator who victimized women for decades and lied about it."

"Rebecca I'm sorry. Ugh this is why I don’t like weighing in," Silverman tweeted in response Monday. "I can't seem to do press 4 my show w/out being asked about it. But you're right—you were equals and he f***ed with you and it’s not ok. I’m sorry, friend. You are so talented and so kind."

Silverman last defended C.K. in a May profile in GQ's Comedy Issue. She was asked to speak about her friendship with C.K., as well as with Aziz Ansari and Al Franken, who were all accused of sexual misconduct. Silverman explained why she didn't "see any reason why they can't continue being artists" and she had "compassion" for them.

"There are people that just deny everything they're accused of and they continue to be the politicians or the filmmakers that they are. And there are people that come and say, I'm guilty of these things, and I'm wrong, and I want to be changed from this," Silverman told GQ. "And yet those are the ones that kind of are excommunicated forever. He's my brother, so it's hard. I may not have a very clear perspective on it, but I'm trying to."

C.K., born Louis Székely, was accused of sexual misconduct by five different women in a New York Times report in November 2017. His scandal surfaced early in the #MeToo era as a wave of powerful industry men, including movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey, faced their own allegatations. Before he admitted "these stories are true" shortly after The Times's report appeared, Louis C.K. lost multiple deals, including the cancellation of his controversial indie flick I Love You, Daddy.

"I have been remorseful of my actions. And I've tried to learn from them. And run from them," Louis said in a statement, according to Deadline. "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."

Louis continued, "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."

Since this admission, he's taken a break from the industry. He first resurfaced in August, when he performed an unannounced stand-up set at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. He unexpectedly popped up once more at the Comedy Cellar in September, where two audience members exited during the set, according to the Gothamist. Both sets received a good share of online backlash.

This story has been updated to include Silverman's apology.

Sarah Silverman Says Louis C.K. Used to Masturbate In Front of Her Actress and comedian Sarah Silverman attends the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, in Santa Monica, California. She said it was "amazing" to see Louis C.K. masturbate in front of her when they were kids. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

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