Aziz Ansari accused of sexual misconduct

Golden Globe award-winning comedian, actor and writer is accused of making unwanted sexual advances on a woman he went on a date with last year

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 14 January 2018 10:11 GMT
Aziz Ansari accused of sexual misconduct

*Update* Aziz Ansari has responded to the accusation of sexual misconduct and says he believed the encounter to be "completely consensual".

Golden Globe award-winning comedian and writer Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual misconduct by a woman who claims she went on a date with him in 2017.

An article in Babe reports the 23-year-old photographer, named only as "Grace" to protect her anonymity, describing in uncomfortable detail an encounter which allegedly took place last year after they met at an Emmy Awards afterparty.

She claims the Master of None star asked for her phone number and they exchanged texts for a week before arranging a date in September, which reportedly ended with Grace in an Uber on the way home, “in tears”.

The pair of them allegedly had dinner, where it felt like “Ansari was eager for them to leave”. “He got the cheque and then it was bada-boom, bada-bing, we're out of there,” she told Babe.

She then says they walked back to his apartment, and started kissing. “In a second, his hand was on my breast.” She describes how Ansari allegedly kept persisting in his attempts to have sex with her, “going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss” and sticking his fingers down her throat before performing a sex act on her.

She claims she used continual verbal and non-verbal indicators that she was uncomfortable, and eventually told him she didn't “want to feel forced”. Ansari then allegedly motioned for her to perform a sex act on him, and repeatedly asked her: “Where do you want me to f**k you?”.

Eventually Grace says they sat and watched television, where “it really hit me that I was violated”. She says she went home and felt “groggy and miserable” the next day, telling some of her friends about the experience.

Ansari reportedly sent Grace a text the next evening to say it was “fun” meeting her.

Grace claims she responded: “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me. You ignored clear non-verbal clues; you kept going with advances.”

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“I’m so sad to hear this,” Ansari allegedly responded. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”

Babe viewed the text exchange, and confirmed the number Grace was texting matched Ansari's details on a public register.

Grace told the website she was shocked by Ansari’s behaviour, as he has had a reputation for being a “woke” guy who respects women.

Ansari was one of the many men who has voiced their support of the #TimesUp movement, which aims to eliminate sexual misconduct, and wore a pin supporting the campaign at this year's Golden Globe awards.

He has built a career on comedy that focuses on issues of race and sexual consent, which has earned him considerable praise from prominent female voices. Refinery29 called him a “certified woke bae” in 2016.

Responding to the allegation, he issued a statement via a representative where he acknowledged he went on a date with "Grace" and "ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual".

"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay', upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable'," he said. "It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she said.

"I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."

Grace said she never saw Ansari again, that is until she saw him win a Best Actor award at the 2018 Golden Globes. It was at that time that her memories of the alleged incident flooded back.

“It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award,” she said. “And absolutely cringe-worthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin. I think that started a new fire, and it kind of made it more real [...] I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz. I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”

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