“I’m not saying everyone should embrace Louis again,” Silverman told Howard Stern. “I believe he has remorse. I just want him to talk about it onstage.”
Sarah Silverman opened up about her relationship with her longtime friend and fellow comic Louis C.K. on Monday’s episode of Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show. During the interview, Silverman revealed that C.K. — who faced a number of sexual misconduct allegations last fall — used to masturbate in front of her with consent.
“I know I’m going to regret saying this,” Silverman said. “I’ve known Louis forever, I’m not making excuses for him, so please don’t take this that way. We are peers. We are equals. When we were kids, and he asked if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I’d go, ‘Fuck, yeah, I want to see that!'”
C.K. was accused by five women of masturbating in front of them in a New York Times story published last November and written by one of the journalists who penned the first exposé on sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. C.K. later admitted to the allegations.
During her chat with Stern, Silverman said that she understands that her experience with C.K. is incomparable to what the “other women,” some of which were younger female comedians, went through.
“It’s not analogous to the other women that are talking about what he did to them. He could offer me nothing. We were only just friends,” she said. “Sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it, it was amazing. Sometimes I would say, ‘Fucking no, gross,’ and we got pizza.”
Silverman went on to say that her encounters with C.K. took place early on in their careers when they were “letting our freak flags fly.” She also said that she and C.K. would sometimes take their clothes off together, throw them out the window of their apartments onto the street and then take the elevator naked to go and get them.
Silverman noted that C.K.’s behavior didn’t change once his star began to rise. “Once he became powerful, even within just his [comedy] community, he felt like he was the same person, but the dynamic was different and it was not OK,” she said, adding that she believes C.K. was trying to change before the accusations in the Times article made headlines. “Even in that article they talk about how he tried to connect with some of these women to say he fucked up and wronged them.”
Silverman continued: “I’m not saying everyone should embrace Louis again. I believe he has remorse. I just want him to talk about it onstage. He’s going to have to find his way or not find his way.”
Not long after Silverman’s interview with Stern aired, Rebecca Corry — one of C.K.’s accusers — reacted via Twitter. “To be real clear, C.K. had ‘nothing to offer me’ as I too was his equal on the set the day he decided to sexually harass me” Corry wrote on Monday. “He took away a day I worked years for and still has no remorse. He’s a predator who victimized women for decades and lied about it.”
Silverman later apologized to Corry on Twitter. “Rebecca I’m sorry. Ugh this is why I don’t like weighing in. I can’t seem to do press 4 my show w/out being asked about it,” she wrote. “But you’re right- you were equals and he fucked with you and it’s not ok. I’m sorry, friend. You are so talented and so kind.”
Silverman’s interview with Sten isn’t the first time she has spoken out about C.K.’s #MeToo allegations. Last November, she broke her silence about the issue during an incredibly poignant episode of her Hulu talk show, I Love You, America.
“One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C. K., masturbated in front of women. He wielded his power with women in fucked-up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely,” Silverman said at the time. “I hope it’s OK if I am at once very angry for the women he wronged and the culture that enabled it, and also sad, because he’s my friend.”
Then, in a May profile for GQ, Silverman said that she has “compassion” for C.K. and suggested that she was hopeful that he could make a comeback.
“There are people that just deny everything they’re accused of and they continue to be the politicians or the filmmakers that they are,” she said. “And there are people that come and say, I’m guilty of these things, and I’m wrong, and I want to be changed from this. And yet those are the ones that kind of are excommunicated forever. He’s my brother, so it’s hard. I may not have a very clear perspective on it, but I’m trying to.”
C.K. was largely shunned by comedy clubs following the sexual misconduct allegations. However, he has performed a string of comeback sets at different venues throughout New York City in the past several months. While he failed to address his #MeToo scandal during surprise sets at the Comedy Cellar in August and September, C.K. “addressed that he did something wrong” during an Oct. 10 performance at the West Side Comedy Club, according to host AMarie Castillo.
“He didn’t specifically address what he did, but he did seem to admit to doing wrong and it was clear that he’s just trying to figure out his life. He talked about his life over the past year and acknowledged how it’s been tough for him,” Castillo told The Hollywood Reporter last week. “And he spoke about how weird it’s been.”
The female comic added: “He talked about how everything, what happened to him in public, has affected his family. He spoke about losing lots of money because of everything. Louis was very sincere and genuine about it all.”
Monday, 10/22, 2:22 p.m. Updated with Rebecca Corry’s Twitter response to Sarah Silverman’s interview.
Tuesday, 10/23, 6:33 a.m. Updated with Silverman’s Twitter apology to Corry.