CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual harassment.

Sarah Silverman has admitted that Louis CK frequently masturbated in front of her on a consensual basis, arguing the disgraced comedian may have misjudged other circumstances in which he sexually harassed women by doing the same thing without explicit consent.

Speaking to Howard Stern on SiriusXM Radio, Silverman, a longtime friend of CK, said he asked her if he could masturbate in her presence while they were both 19-year-old “kids” on equal footing in the comedy scene.

“I’ve known Louis forever, I’m not making excuses for him, so please don’t take this that way,” Silverman said, before admitting she would sometimes tell CK “‘Fuck yeah, I want to see that!’ It was like science.”

But Silverman emphasised the fact she viewed herself as a friend and peer of CK’s at the time, in contrast to the numerous women in comedy who were pressured to go along with the comedian’s requests when he gained serious stature in the industry.

“So sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it. It was amazing. Sometimes I’d be like, ‘Fucking gross, no,’ and we’d get pizza,” Silverman said, adding “I’m just saying at a certain point, when he became influential, not even famous, but influential in the world of comedy, it changes.”

Discussing the numerous incidents in which CK masturbated in front of female colleagues and fellow comedians, Silverman said “He felt like he was the same person, but the dynamic was different and it was not okay.”

After rolling out that very generous interpretation of his actions, she turned to CK’s attempt at rehabilitating his public image. Silverman said she understands if people want nothing to do with him – but still couched that viewpoint with her belief “he has remorse.

“I believe he can come back. I just want him to talk about it on stage.”

So far, he has not – not directly at least.

The statement follows on from a statement Silverman gave on the accusations levelled against CK last year, where she used her variety show to say “I love Louis, but Louis did these things.

“Both of those statements are true, so I just keep asking myself, ‘Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?”

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Source: Variety
Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images