Bill D’Elia is the father of stand-up comedian and Netflix star Chris D’Elia. Chris was on Tuesday accused of a number of sexual offenses, including “grooming” underage girls. Bill D’Elia is a prolific television director and producer, with credits including shows like How to Get Away with Murder, The Good Doctor, Ally McBeal and Grey’s Anatomy.
Arizona State graduate Simone Rossi Tweeted on Tuesday alleging Chris “groomed” her online when she was 16. Rossi claimed that the only reason she wasn’t “molested” by D’Elia is that she ended up getting a boyfriend her own age. A slew of accusations from other young women followed Rossi’s.
Bill D’Elia has remained silent thus far on the accusations against his son.
There have been no reports of law enforcement action taken as of yet, and Chris denied the accusations in a Wednesday interview with TMZ while admitting to behaving improperly in the past.
Here’s what you need to know about Bill D’Elia, Chris D’Elia’s father.
1. He Is a Queens, New York, Native & Has Been Involved in Some of The Most Influential & Popular Television Programs of All Time
Bill D’Elia grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Queens, according to a William Paterson University profile. He wanted to be in television or the movies since childhood and later graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in television and film, then William Paterson with a master’s in communications.
In the early 1990s, D’Elia broke into television by directing episodes of Doogie Howser, M.D., and Law & Order. He went on to direct multiple episodes of 1990s hits like Northern Exposure, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Beverly Hills 90210, according to his IMDB page.
2. In The Mid-1990s His Career Would Take Off, With 8 Emmy Nominations for Work on Shows Like Ally McBeal & Boston Legal
In 1995, D’Elia began working with famed television producer David E. Kelley, directing almost 20 episodes of Chicago Hope, and taking some of his credits as executive producer. He went on to have writing and producing hands in Ally McBeal, The Practice, How to Get Away with Murder and Grand Hotel.
In 2014, he inducted Kelley into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
Bill D’Elia was nominated for his first Emmy in 1996 for his work on Chicago Hope, according to IMDB. He would later be nominated for the writing on Ally McBeal, Outstanding Drama Series for Boston Legal and more, for a total of eight nominations.
He was most recently nominated for Best Directing for a Drama Series on Boston Legal in 2009.
3. He Is An Outspoken Critic of Donald Trump & Supporter of Gun Control on Social Media
Bill D’Elia is an outspoken liberal on social media. He regularly posts anti-gun violence messages and images and statements in favor of Black Lives Matter and attacking President Donald Trump.
This month, he re-tweeted a screenshot of an archived New York Times report from 1927 indicating that the president’s father, Fred Trump, was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally.
And last September, D’Elia Tweeted that President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had “blood on their hands” due to gun violence in the country.
4. He Founded an Anti-Gun Violence Campaign In 2016 Aimed At Electing Candidates In Favor of Gun Control
D’Elia felt strongly enough about gun violence and the need for stricter national gun laws that he founded a campaign in 2016 called Make Us Safer. The website for Make Us Safer is down, and the campaign does not appear active anymore.
However, an archived version of the original website can be found here.
D’Elia said on the original website that an episode of Chicago Hope he produced was part of Make Us Safer’s genesis. After the gun control-related episode aired, he received a phone call from Jim Brady. The aide to President Ronald Reagan who was paralyzed by a bullet during an assassination attempt on Reagan’s life and later had a gun control bill named after him due to his lobbying efforts thanked D’Elia for the episode.
“And I began a pursuit to help change the gun laws in this country,” D’Elia wrote. Years later, after becoming discouraged, D’Elia said, he began to “think nationally.”
“It’s an issue our entire Congress is deciding,” he wrote. “Why don’t we look at those races nationwide and donate our money to influence the elections that will eventually lead to real change on the gun issue?”
5. He’s Been Married To Interior Decorator Ellie D’Elia for Almost 50 Years, Has Another Son In Show Business And Recently Sold His Vacation Home For $3.3 Million
D’Elia married his wife, Ellie, in 1972, according to her Facebook page. Ellie used to be a successful interior decorator, D’Elia said in the William Paterson profile, also discussing his first son Chris, and Matthew, who was studying film at NYU at the time. Matthew is now a director and producer, with the film American Animal to his credit.
“I’m the head of a show business family, and my life is exactly as I want,” D’Elia said.
Two years ago, D’Elia and his wife sold their iconic vacation home in Seal Beach, California, the Los Angeles Times reported. The home stands out from others in its gated community because of its “Cape Cod cottage style” — a remodel D’Elia oversaw, the outlet reported.
It sold for $3.275 million, according to the Times. The 2,375 square-foot home was built in 1952 and owned by the D’Elias for almost 20 years, the Orange County Register reported.