'These stories are true,' admits US comic accused of sexual misconduct


NEW YORK - An award-winning US comedian on Friday became the latest entertainment industry heavyweight to watch his career unravel over accusations of sexual misconduct, as he was forced to admit to masturbating in front of women.

Father of two Louis C.K. was dumped by Netflix, his publicist, the television networks FX and HBO, and his upcoming movie, which had showcased a relationship between an aging filmmaker and a teenage girl, was scrapped.

An extraordinary statement of guilt from the 50-year-old did nothing to limit the fallout as the entertainment industry grapples with scandals that have already sunk the careers of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey.

"These stories are true," said the writer, actor and stand-up comedian in a statement released to US media a day after America's most prestigious newspaper published accusations from the women saying that he masturbated or asked to masturbate in front of them or on the telephone in separate incidents dating from the late 1990s to 2005.

While the comedian did not explicitly apologize, he said in his statement: "I have been remorseful of my actions."

It was the most frank public admission of guilt from an accused man since a spate of sexual harassment and abuse scandals broke in early October, disgracing not just Weinstein and Spacey but also implicating directors such as James Toback and 1980s action star Steven Seagal.

Louis C.K. said there was "nothing about this that I forgive myself for" and claimed he could "hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought" on the women and colleagues with whom he has worked, now impacted by the scandal.

But it was not enough to stop his career spinning out of control. The distributor of his new movie "I Love You, Daddy" said it would not go ahead with its release and HBO dropped him from a comedy benefit concert due to air next week, US media reported. - AP