Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

After years of open secrets and whispered rumors about comedian Louis CK’s alleged habit of cornering women and forcing them to watch him masturbate, five women have gone on the record in a New York Times story that’s been anticipated since CK canceled the New York premiere of his new film I Love You, Daddy earlier today.

The piece opens with the story of Chicago comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, who accepted CK’s invitation of a nightcap at the U.S. Aspen Comedy Arts Festival in Colorado in 2002. They would be together, so the women assumed they’d be safe, the story reports. As soon as they arrived at CK’s hotel room, CK asked if he could take out his penis, which Goodman and Wolov laughed off as a joke. Then, as Goodman puts it, “And then he really did it. He proceeded to take all of his clothes off, and get completely naked, and started masturbating.” Although they initially spoke about the incident publicly, reporting it to ImprovOlympic owner Charna Halpern, they soon backed off when it became clear that exposing CK would have career consequences.

In the same article, comedians Abby Schachner and Rebecca Corry, as well as an anonymous woman who worked with CK on The Chris Rock Show in the late ’90s, tell different variations on the same story: that CK has an abusive, seemingly compulsive habit of crossing a sexual line with female colleagues by inappropriately exposing himself to them and/or masturbating, then offering private apologies later. The article also quotes Tig Notaro, one of the few comedians to publicly speak up against CK, who says, “Sadly, I’ve come to learn that Louis C.K.’s victims are not only real, but many are actual friends of mine within the comedy community.”

CK and his reps declined to comment. You can read the full story over at The New York Times.

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UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Netflix, which released CK’s latest comedy special earlier this year, declined to comment after being contacted by The A.V. Club.

UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: Distribution company The Orchard has released a statement, saying that “there is never a place for the behavior described in these allegations” and that it is “giving careful consideration to the timing and release” of CK’s new film, I Love You, Daddy. Again, the New York premiere of the film was canceled earlier today.

UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: In a press release emailed to journalists, FX, home of CK’s critically acclaimed series Louie, says:

We are obviously very troubled by the allegations about Louis C.K. published in The New York Times today. The network has received no allegations of misconduct by Louis C.K. related to any of our 5 shows produced together over the past 8 years. FX Networks and FXP take all necessary actions to protect our employees and thoroughly investigate any allegations of misconduct within our workplace. That said, the matter is currently under review.

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