Sarah Silverman says Louis C.K. used to ask permission to masturbate in front of her when they were young comics in New York, behavior similar to the sexual harassment that nearly derailed his career last year.
During an appearance on “The Howard Stern Show” on Monday, Silverman was asked about her relationship to C.K., whom she describes as a “brother,” in the months since he was accused of abusing his position in the comedy community to harass women comics.
“It’s all very black and white until it comes to your front door and the bad guy is someone you love,” Silverman said, adding that she hasn’t spoken to C.K. in about three months.
Silverman, who was promoting her Hulu talk show “I Love You, America,” said C.K. used to behave in a similar manner before either of them became famous.
“When we were kids, and he asked if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I’d go, ‘F— yeah I want to see that!’” she said. “It was like science … Sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it. It was amazing. Sometimes I would say, ‘F—ing no, gross,’ and we got pizza.”
The difference, Silverman noted, between what she was describing and the harassment C.K. admitted to last year is the “Louie” creator’s relative power and career influence.
“It’s not analogous to the other women that are talking about what he did to them. He could offer me nothing,” she said. “Once he became powerful — even within just his community — he felt like he was the same person, but the dynamic was different and it was not OK.”
One of C.K.’s victims, comedian Rebecca Corry, disputed Silverman’s characterizations of his behavior in a tweet later on Monday.
“To be real clear, CK had ‘nothing to offer me’ as I too was his equal on the set the day he decided to sexually harass me. He took away a day I worked years for and still has no remorse. He’s a predator who victimized women for decades and lied about it,” she wrote.
In an apologetic response, Silverman admitted she fumbled her meaning in response to Stern’s questioning and said she can’t participate in media interviews without being asked about C.K. “But you’re right- you were equals and he fucked with you and it’s not ok. I’m sorry, friend,” she wrote to Corry. “You are so talented and so kind.”
“I’m sorry your friend created this situation. We deserve to do our art without having to deal with this shit,” said Corry.
Thank you. I know exactly how you feel. I can’t seem to live my life without getting rape & death threats, harassed & called a cunt regularly for simply telling the truth. I’m sorry your friend created this situation. We deserve to do our art without having to deal with this shit https://t.co/yK6xafdzur
— Rebecca Corry (@HippoloverCorry) October 22, 2018
About one year since his C.K.’s career nearly imploded entirely in the wake of the harassment accusations, the comedian has begun reappearing at New York comedy clubs to workshop new material.
“I believe he has remorse,” said Silverman. “I just want him to talk about it on stage. He’s going to have to find his way or not find his way.”