A comedy duo has accused Louis C.K. of masturbating in front of them in a hotel room in 2002 without their consent.
Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, known as Dana & Julia, told the New York Times that the 50-year-old comedian asked them if he could take out his penis, and then, “proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.”
Three other women have also accused Louis C.K. of crossing a line into sexual misconduct, telling their stories to the Times in the first on-the-record accusations of sexual impropriety against Louis C.K., who has long been rumored to have acted inappropriately sexually around women.
Comedian, writer, illustrator and performer Abby Schachner told the Times that Louis C.K. masturbated during a phone conversation with her in 2003 and comedian Rebecca Corry told the newspaper that he asked her if he could masturbate in front of her in 2005. A fifth woman, who spoke with anonymity, told the newspaper that Louis C.K. asked to masturbate in front of her multiple times in the 1990s.
On Thursday, as word of the upcoming Times report spread, Louis C.K. cancelled his Thursday night premiere of his upcoming movie “I Love You, Daddy,” and also cancelled an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
Louis C.K. issued a statement Friday apologizing for his conduct.
“These stories are true,” the comedian said. “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.”
Here’s what you need to know about Goodman and Wolov and their accusations:
1. Goodman & Wolov Say They Felt ‘Paralyzed’ & Then Ran Out of the Room After Louis C.K. Ejaculated
Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov told the New York Times they went to the hotel room with Louis C.K. after meeting them after their late night show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. They said they did not think twice about going to the room because they were together, Louis C.K. was a comedian they admired and his intentions seemed collegial, according to the Times.
The duo said they sat down in the room, wearing winter jackets, and Louis C.K. asked if he could take out his penis. They said they laughed it off, and “And then he really did it,” Goodman told the newspaper. She said they were “paralyzed,” as Louis C.K. masturbated, naked, in a chairman, and then they ran out after he ejaculated onto his stomach.
He was like, ‘Which one is Dana and which one is Julia?’?” Goodman told the newspaper.
They said they told Charna Halpern, who owns improv theaters in Los Angeles and Chicago where they had previously performed, about what happened.
“I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to tell them to do,” Halpern told the Times.
Wolov and Goodman said profanity and raunchiness is common in comedy circles, but they said Louis C.K. was abusive. They themselves are known for dirty and raunchy humor, but said that actions like those they say Louis C.K. committed go too far.
“I think the line gets crossed when you take all your clothes off and start masturbating,” Wolov told the Times.
2. The Women Say They Felt ‘Backlash’ After Telling People About What Happened
Goodman and Wolov told the newspaper that they were not sure if what happened was criminal, so they did not go to the police, but wanted to do respond “because something happened to us,” Goodman told the newspaper. The duo said they hoped outrage would build against Louis C.K. and wanted to shame him, so they started to tell people what happened the next day.
The women told the New York Times that they felt “backlash” after telling people about what happened just 24 hours later.
“Guys were backing away from us,” Wolov said. They told the newspaper that Louis C.K.’s manager, Dave Becky, told their managers that he wanted them to stop telling people about their encounter with the comedian.
“I don’t recall the exact specifics of the conversation, but know I never threatened anyone,” Becky told the Times.
Goodman and Wolov said they moved to Los Angeles shortly after the incident and they were, “coming here with a bunch of enemies.” Wolov said they have taken themselves out of the running of projects involving Becky, who also represents Kevin Hart and Aziz Ansari, among other top comedians. “We know immediately that we can never even submit our material,” she told the newspaper.
3. Goodman & Wolov Have Worked Together for Several Years, Creating the MTV Show ‘Faking It’ Together
Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov have been writing and performing together as “Dana & Julia” for several years. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the duo met at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic in 1995, while they were taking a class there, and “bonded over a shared love of raunchy humor.” From 2001 to 2002 they put on a Chicago sketch show, that according to the Sun-Times, included “among other ribald moments, a drugged date rape set to the music of Kenny Rogers, and a demonstration of what a shaky L ride does to one’s bosoms.”
Their “big break” came in 2002 at the same Aspen, Colorado, festival where they say the incident with Louis C.K. occurred, when they were noticed by another comedian, Adam Sandler, according to Deadline.com.
Goodman and Wolov were both writers on the MTV shows “Punk’d” and “Good Vibes,” and in 2014 created and co-wrote the MTV series “Faking It,” which is described on IMDB as,”after numerous attempts of trying to be popular two best friends decide to come out as lesbians, which launches them to instant celebrity status. Seduced by their newfound fame, Karma and Amy decide to keep up their romantic ruse.” The show ran from 2014 to 2016.
The duo has also worked together on “Girls Behaving Badly” on Oxygen, “The Dana & Julia Show” and “Biatches,” an animated Comedy Central series.
In 2016, it was reported that ABC has bought an untitled single-camera showing from Goodman and Wolov, according to Deadline. They also recently wrote a semi-autobiographical show that was purchased by TV Land.
4. Goodman, an Illinois Native, Started Her Career as an Actress in 2002
Dana Min Goodman, 44, is an Illinois native. Goodman grew up in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and eventually moved to Chicago. She now lives in Los Angeles.
She began her career as an actress in 2002 with small roles in “Tenfold” and “Barbershop.” She has also appeared in “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” “The House Bunny” and “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” according to her IMDB page.
Goodman told the New York Times she and Wolov are speaking out now because of other women who have come forward with stories about sexual abuse, assault and harassment by other powerful Hollywood figures.
“Because of this moment, as gross as it is, we feel compelled to speak,” Goodman told the newspaper.
5. Wolov Graduated From Indiana University & Was Part of The Second City Improv Group
Julia Wolov, 45, is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from the Indiana University, according to her Linkedin profile.
After college, she moved to Chicago, where she began working in improv. She was part of The Second City improv group in Chicago, where she was a writer and performer from 2000 to 2001.
Wolov wrote the short story “Bright Lights, Betty White’s Titties,” about, “the inimitable Betty White, a Loehmann’s dressing room and a Hollywood Best Western parking lot.” The story gained her fans in Hollywood and was later published by Gawker.
“It cracked open a whole bunch of meetings. I was on the Betty White band wagon before it was cool! I hope she doesn’t sue me. Most people knew it was complete fiction, but there were a couple of times when someone would ask if it was true which I said ‘Yes, Betty White and I are totally dating,'” she told Gawker in 2010.