Following allegations of sexual misconduct, actor and comedian Aziz Ansari has responded to the claim in a statement, saying that he believed the encounter to be “consensual” but has taken the accuser’s “words to heart.”
Ansari’s statement came in response to an article published on Babe.net over the weekend, in which a 23-year-old woman from New York detailed an unsettling date she had with the actor in 2017. According to her account, she decided to publicize her encounter after seeing Ansari wearing a “Time’s Up” pin at the Golden Globes last week.
The woman, referred to by the pseudonym “Grace” in the article, recounts meeting the Master of None actor at the 2017 Emmy Awards, at which time she gave him her phone number. They later went on a date, which ended with her feeling “violated.” Grace claims that Ansari repeatedly tried to initiate sex with her, which she reportedly refused using both verbal and non-verbal cues.
The following day, Grace says that she texted Ansari telling him how “uneasy” he made her feel. In response, he said he had “misread things in the moment” and offered an apology. Ansari provided a full response on Monday, confirming their encounter, but suggesting that the sexual activity was “by all indications…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 continued. “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.”
He concludes, “I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”