Actor-comic Whitney Cummings has broken her silence over allegations of sexual harassment against her former collaborator Chris D’Elia, saying she is “devastated and enraged by what I”ve read and learned”.
Cummings and D’Elia worked on her 2011 series Whitney. D’Elia starred as Alex Miller, the boyfriend to her titular character, a role that she had said she wrote for him.
Multiple women have claimed that the stand-up comedian-actor harassed them online, when some of them were as young as 16.
Many also accused him of sending inappropriate messages to them and attempting to solicit nude photos from them. D’Elia has denied all the claims.
Cummings said it took her a couple of days to process the information she learnt about D’Elia, adding that this is a “pattern of predatory behavior”.
“This abuse of power is enabled by silence. Now that I’m aware, I won’t be silent,” the writer-comic wrote on Twitter.
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) June 20, 2020
“Girls should be able to be a fan of a comedian they admire without becoming a sexual target. It’s the adult’s responsibility to be an adult,” Cummings added.
Dismissing the claims, D’Elia said all of his relationships have been “legal and consensual”.
“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point.
“All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me,” he said.
D’Elia, also known for comedy shows Undateable, apologised for being a “dumb guy who absolutely let myself get caught up in my lifestyle”.
“That’s my fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better,” he added.
D’Elia recently starred in the second of Netflix series You, in which he played the role of a comedian who sexually abuses teenage girls.
He also guest starred in the Comedy Central series Workaholics as a paedophile who pursues boys.
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