Aziz Ansari responds to sexual assault accusations
Hollywood actor and comedian Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual assault by a 23-year-old woman.
The woman, referred to as Grace – her name has been kept anonymous for her safety – spoke to publication Babe, and said: “I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” she said. “I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had.”
Following a date, Ansari took the woman back to his apartment and, according to the woman, ignored repeated cues that she felt uncomfortable: “I know I was physically giving off cues that I wasn’t interested,” she said. “I don’t think that was noticed at all, or if it was, it was ignored.”
Then, as the interview continued, the woman claims she asked Ansari to wait until next time to have sex, so which she claims the following exchange took place: “And he goes, ‘Oh, you mean second date?’ and I go, ‘Oh, yeah, sure,’ and he goes, ‘Well, if I poured you another glass of wine now, would it count as our second date?’” From then on she claims he poured her another drink and forcefully kissed her.
In the wake of the accusations, Ansari has issued a statement claiming that he believed the exchange had been consensual: “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,” he said. “I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”
Here’s the full statement:
“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we 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. 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 had said.
I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.” – Aziz Ansari