Comedian Aziz Ansari has responded to a woman’s report that he pressured her into sexual activity, saying he thought the interaction had been “completely consensual”, but that he “took her words to heart”.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn-based photographer’s account of an evening spent with the Master On None star appeared in Babe on Saturday. Speaking anonymously, the woman said she had met Ansari at a 2017 Emmy Awards after-party then met up with him for a date in September.
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She describes a sexual encounter where the 34-year-old kissed her, performed oral sex on her and asked her to do the same, despite her ” verbal and non-verbal cues” that she was uncomfortable.
"He sat back and pointed to his penis and motioned for me to go down on him," she told Babe. "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 next day she sent Ansari a text saying she had felt "uneasy" to which she said he responded, "Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry."
In his statement, issued today, Ansari also said he responded to her text with concern.
Ansari said after texting back and forth, the pair had dinner, and afterwards "we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual".
Listen: The Mamamia Out Loud team explain what the Time’s Up movement actually does. (Post continues.)
"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable.
"It was true that everything did seem okay 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."
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Ansari - who wore black and a Time's Up pin to the Golden Globe Awards indicating his endorsement of the initiative against sexual harassment - concluded by saying he supports the "necessary and long overdue" movement.