Aziz Ansari has responded to an allegation of sexual assault by saying that he believed the encounter to be “completely consensual”.
The Master of None star was yesterday accused of sexual misconduct while on a date with an unnamed female photographer. The allegations surfaced in an article on Babe, headlined: ‘I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life’.
In the interview with Babe, the 23-year-old woman - who was 22 at the time of the incident - says Ansari was sexually aggressive with her, claiming that he kept forcing her hand onto his penis, sticking his fingers down her throat, and that she felt pressured into performing oral sex on him.
The woman says she left Ansari’s house in tears, and that she sent him a text the next day telling him: “You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances […] I want to make sure you’re aware so maybe the next girl doesn’t have to cry on the ride home.”
Last night, Ansari, 34, issued an official response to the allegations via a representative, admitting the encounter took place, but saying he believed everything to be consensual.
The statement reads: “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.
“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 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 woman claims she expressed she was uncomfortable with what was happening on more than one occasion, but Ansari continued to be forceful with her, before she eventually left in a taxi he called for her.
Ansari has made his name in-part for being a ‘woke’ celebrity. He has written a bestselling book about dating titled Modern Romance, and his TV show, Master of None, also deals with the topic of sexual assault in its most recent season.
In the show, a character called Chef Jeff - who is Ansari’s character’s boss, and also co-host of their new cooking show - is accused of a string of sexual assaults, from which Dev (Ansari) is forced to try and distance himself.
Speaking about the storyline to Vulture, Ansari said: “So it was like, ‘OK, what if this is one of those types of guys and we just get the audience to love him? And then pull the rug out from under them at the end and reveal that he’s actually not a good dude?’”
The woman accusing Ansari told Babe: “This was not what I expected. I’d seen some of his shows and read excerpts from his book and I was not expecting a bad night at all, much less a violating night and a painful one.”