Jon Stewart got defensive when asked about what were then rumors of sexual misconduct by his friend Louis CK last year, but now that those same rumors have been put on the record in The New York Times (and confirmed by CK himself), he can no longer say he hasn’t heard about them. Stewart was on the Today show today along with Night Of Too Many Stars creator Michelle Smigel, ostensibly to hype the annual fundraiser for autism programs set to air this Saturday on HBO.
Stewart had to have known that the CK thing would come up—CK was dropped from this year’s Night Of Too Many Stars lineup just last week—and this time he had an answer prepared. Asked initially how he felt about the accusation, Stewart said he was “Stunned” adding that “I think you give your friends the benefit of the doubt” and that he thinks about CK’s “compulsions” in similar terms to friends of his who had problems with drugs or gambling. “And you always find yourself back to a moment of, did I miss something? Could I have done more?” he said. “And in this situation, I think we all could have. So you feel anger at what you did to people.”
Later in the interview, Stewart addressed the David Axelrod interview mentioned at the top of this article, saying, “A year ago, I was doing a podcast with David Axelrod, and a man in the audience asked me about it. And I hadn’t heard at that point about any of this. And he asked me, ‘What do you think about the allegations against Louis CK?’ and my first response was ‘what?’ ... as it went on, I said, ‘I know this is very serious, but I know Louis, he’s always been a gentleman,’ to me, which I think speaks to the blindness that I think a man has ... we took somebody’s word for it, and maybe that was an error on our part.” He added that he hasn’t talked to CK since the allegations became public.
You can watch the latter half of Stewart’s comments in full below.