American actor, Aziz Ansari has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who claims he repeatedly got sexually aggressive with her despite her protestations in 2017. The comedian has now replied, saying he believes the sexual activity he engaged in with the anonymous woman was completely consensual.
The 23-year-old photographer, named only as “Grace” to protect her anonymity, claims she went on a date with Aziz last year and ended up in his Tribeca apartment. She claims he almost immediately began kissing, fondling and undressing her and then said he was going to grab a condom. The woman says she asked him to slow down, but he continued and performed oral sex on her.
She told the women’s website babe.net that the date Ansari asked her on shortly after they met in 2017 ended up being “by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had”.
“I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” she said.
She said he moved her hand to his genitals repeatedly and “pressured” her to perform sexual acts after she “told him [she] was uncomfortable”.
“I felt violated,” she said. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault.”
The woman’s texts to Ansari the day after their date were supplied to Babe. In them, she wrote: “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me. You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.
“You had to have noticed I was uncomfortable … nothing [changed] even after I expressed that I’d like to slow it down.”
Ansari responded: “I’m so sad to hear this. All I can say is, it would never be my intention to make you or anyone feel the way you described. Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”
Addressing the accusation of sexual misconduct against him, the filmmaker said he believed the activity between them was consensual and was “surprised and concerned” when he learned she felt differently. He added that he “took her words to heart and responded privately.” He says he continues to support the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements as well.
Ansari’s statement to People on Sunday night read: “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 OK’, upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem OK 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.