Aziz Ansari has responded to allegations of sexual assault, after he went on a date with a woman who claims it turned into her ‘worst experience with a man’.
A 23-year-old woman – referred to as Grace to protect her identity – has claimed an encounter with the Master of None star, 34, became non-consensual, reported babe.
Yesterday, it was alleged Ansari repeatedly ignored Grace’s verbal and non-verbal requests to stop his sexual advances while on a date at his apartment on Monday September 25, until the then 22-year-old left in a cab in tears.
They took pictures of each other and Grace gave Ansari her number before leaving. The next day, he messaged her and they planned a date for Monday, September 25. pic.twitter.com/nmW4lQHaZK
— babe (@babedotnet) January 14, 2018
In the aftermath of the encounter, Grace recalled explicitly telling Ansari via text message the night ‘might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me’, adding ‘you kept going with advances’ until she felt ‘violated’.
She said he had responded at the time by apologising, saying: ‘Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.’
Ansari has since responded to the account formally through his official representation, saying he believed the encounter to be ‘completely consensual’.
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
Ansari has given his side of Grace’s graphic account in a statement made to People.
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 added he was ‘surprised and concerned’ regarding Grace’s interpretation:
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.
Grace explained she wanted to share her story after seeing Ansari wearing a pin in support of the Time’s Up movement at the Golden Globes.
Concluding, Ansari continued to offer his support to the Time’s Up movement:
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 clock’s been ticking on the abuse of power. Stand in solidarity with women across every industry to say #TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, and assault. #TIMESUP on oppression and marginalization. #TIMESUP on misrepresentation and underrepresentation. Sign the solidarity letter and donate to the #TIMESUP Legal Defense Fund. Link in bio.
Time’s Up is a Hollywood-wide movement to support men and women who have been victimised by sexual harassment, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The last few months of 2017 saw more than 60 women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment – from inappropriate language to groping to rape – against the now-disgraced movie mogul.
Many others were embroiled in the tidal wave of Me Too stories, including Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey, which indicated society’s systematic issue with sexual abuse at the hands of those in power.
More recently, James Franco and Stan Lee have been included among the accused.
Conversely, Ansari has long been held up as a darling of the feminist movement, even being branded by online news outlets such as Refinery29 as ‘a certified woke bae’.
You can watch him discuss his views on feminism in the clip below from 2015:
No doubt, Grace's account of events will shock his fans. But let this not stop any other person who feel victimised from coming forward with their own story.
If you've been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, visit Time's Up Now to find help.