The US comedian Aziz Ansari has responded to accusations he took advantage of a woman he dated one night in 2017, saying the sex the pair had was “by all indications completely consensual” but that he “took her words to heart”.
The 23-year-old, known only by the pseudonym Grace, 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 told the website she was uncomfortable with how quickly the sexual activity escalated at his apartment after dinner and that he either did not notice or ignored her verbal and non-verbal discomfort.
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.”
In a statement given to People on Sunday night, Ansari said: “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.”
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.”
This is the text Grace* sent Aziz Ansari after their date which left her feeling “violated”. She tells Ansari how uncomfortable he made her feel, saying “you ignored clear non-verbal cues” and “kept going with advances.”
— babe (@babedotnet) January 14, 2018
Grace said she felt compelled to speak to the outlet after the Golden Globes, an evening dominated by the #metoo movement and the Time’s Up campaign to end sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood and beyond. Ansari accepted the award for best actor in a musical or comedy for his show Master Of None and wore a Time’s Up pin to the ceremony.
“It was actually painful to watch him win and accept an award,” Grace told Babe. “And absolutely cringeworthy that he was wearing the Time’s Up pin.”