Jon Stewart Says He Was 'Stunned' by Louis CK's Sexual Misconduct

Carla Harmon
November 15, 2017

Comedian Louis C.K. may have finally admitted to sexual misconduct on Friday in the wake of a damning New York Times report - but rumors about his behavior, and the reporting of those rumors, were nothing new.

Asked by Ackerman at the Chicago event why he hadn't challenged C.K. about the allegations when he interviewed him for the final episode of the "Daily Show," Stewart initially mocked the question, responding, to laughter, "So the internet said Louis harassed women?"

Stewart, who was promoting his upcoming HBO special, went on to say that comedy has not been a "great environment for women" and that it's unfortunate women have an "added layer of pressure and manipulation and fear and humiliation".

"As he kept going, I was like, 'Look, I know this is very serious, but I know Louis, he's always been a gentleman to me, '" Stewart said on the Today show, "which again, it speaks to the blindness that a man has, which is like, 'Hey, he's a good guy, what are you talking about?'"

Stewart said, "Some of them have died". And you find yourself at a moment of, 'Did I miss something?

Told that the allegations had previously been reported by Gawker and that the comedian Jen Kirkman had discussed allegations against an unnamed comedian widely understood to be C.K. on her podcast, Stewart said, "I apologize".

"You feel anger at what [Louis] did to people". "I hadn't heard, at that point, at any of it", Stewart remembered.

In another appearance on "The Today Show", Stewart opened up a bit more about what it means to be friends with a person and trust their character while he conceals indefensible behavior.

Tuesday morning, Stewart gave an explanation for his response. I'm not that connected to that world. "We were all assured, like, 'no, ' and we took somebody's word for it", Stewart continued.

"I think it's a question of we're used to being in charge and I think if you talk to women, they're in a very hard position and you get mad at yourself too for laughing it off and thinking it didn't happen", he said. "What are you talking about?'"

On Thursday, five women came forward to The New York Times about past experiences with C.K., 50, in which he allegedly masturbated in front of them, asked if he could masturbate in front of them or was heard masturbating while speaking on the phone.

"My first response was, what?" he said. "The power I had over these women is that they admired me", he added. I don't want to make this "Louis was the only one of in the business".

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