LOS ANGELES • Comedian Louis CK has admitted to engaging in sexual misconduct as recounted by several women, three of whom said he had masturbated in front of them, and television and film companies moved quickly to sever ties.
"These stories are true," CK said in a statement on Friday. Five women detailed incidents of sexually inappropriate behaviour by the Emmy-winning comedian dating back 15 years in a New York Times report on Thursday.
CK released a statement acknowledging the encounters in question after his upcoming film, I Love You, Daddy, was scrapped for release on Friday, and Netflix Inc cancelled a planned comedy special with the comedian because of the allegations.
Cable television network FX, a unit of 21st Century Fox , also severed its ties with CK, and Time Warner's TBS network said it was suspending production on an upcoming animated comedy, The Cops, which CK co-created and was due to star in.
"He will no longer serve as executive producer or receive compensation on any of the four shows we were producing with him: Better Things, Baskets, One Mississippi and The Cops," FX Networks and FX productions said on Friday.
Universal Pictures and the production firm Illumination issued a joint statement saying they have "terminated their relationship" with CK on an upcoming sequel to last year's animated film The Secret Life Of Pets. CK was the voice of the lead character in the original film.
CK, 50, said in his statement that he has "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 learnt yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves".
He is the latest celebrity to be accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey.
Two of the women in the New York Times article, comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, said CK had invited them to his hotel room after a comedy festival in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002 and then masturbated in front of them.
"The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly," CK said.