Aziz Ansari Responds to Accusation of Sexual Misconduct by Brooklyn Photographer

Aziz Ansari is responding to an accusation that he sexually harassed a woman he met in 2017.

The woman, a Brooklyn photographer who chose to remain anonymous, gave her first-hand account to Babe.net, where she detailed her experience under the name “Grace.” Grace says that she met the Master Of None star at an afterparty for the 2017 Emmys, where the bonded over photography. They eventually went on a date, which she describes as “the worst night of my life.”

Aziz Ansari, Emmys 2017, Sexual Assault, Photographer
Aziz Ansari attends the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. John Shearer/WireImage

According to Grace’s account, the night started with small talk and wine at his Manhattan apartment before they retreated to dinner at Grand Banks in NYC, where she “sensed Ansari was eager for them to leave.”

Grace states that they went back to his apartment, where she complimented the Parks and Recreation actor’s marble countertops and he replied, “How about you hop up and take a seat?” Grace alleges that within minutes, they were kissing before he undressed her and then undressed himself. The photographer claims to have been uncomfortable with how quickly things escalated, with Ansari allegedly saying he was going to grab a condom as soon as they began to kiss.

Grace also alleges that she tried to move away from him several times but he kept pulling her hand towards his genitals. She told Babe.net that she was giving off cues that she wasn’t interested and was unsure if Ansari didn’t notice them, or if he just ignored them. Grace claims that she went into the bathroom to compose herself and that Ansari said, “It’s only fun if we’re both having fun,” a response she was pleased to get. But when they both sat back down, Ansari became forcible, with Grace recounting, “He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him. And I did. I think I just felt really pressured. It was literally the most unexpected thing I thought would happen at that moment because I told him I was uncomfortable.”

The writer of the Babe.net post says she spoke with Grace’s roommate and friend, who backed up Grace’s story. The blog’s Instagram account also shared what is perceived to be a text exchange that occurred after their date between the photographer and the actor in which she makes it clear that his behavior made her uneasy. According to the outlet, Grace decided to share her experience after watching the Golden Globes. Ansari, who wore a Time’s Up pin, won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy TV series for his role in Master of None.

Ansari responded to the woman’s claims in a statement to Us Weekly on Sunday night.

“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,” Ansari said.

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed OK,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” he continued. “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,” he said in conclusion. “It is necessary and long overdue.”

As previously reported, many actors and actresses wore black to the 2018 Golden Globe Awards with Time’s Up pins, a nod toward the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up initiative, which helps provide legal aid for victims of sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.

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