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Aziz Ansari responds after being accused of sexual harassment

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News Analysis |

American actor Aziz Ansari responded to the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him. Grace, a 23-year old, claims Ansari sexually harassed her when they met for a date at his apartment in September 2017.

The girl says despite giving repeated clues of discomfort Ansari continued with his advances. The accuser says the actor ‘took advantage of her’. However, Ansari believes that the physical engagement of the two was completely consensual and that he took her words to heart.

In an interview to a website, she stated that this had been the worst experience she ever had with a man. “I believe that I was taken advantage of by Aziz,” she said.

Ansari responded: “I’m so sad to hear this. All I can say is, it would never be my intention to make you or anyone feel the way you described. Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”

“I felt violated,” she said. “It took a really long time for me to validate this as sexual assault.” Ansari has offered a candid explanation of the encounter.

He said: “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”. 

Read more: Aziz Ansari becomes first South Asian male to win Golden Globe

“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed OK’, upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable.

“It was true that everything did seem OK 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 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.”

Ansari the next day received a message from Grace in which she informed him about the discomfort she experienced.

 

In her message, she wrote: “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me. You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.

Read more: Priyanka Chopra reveals how abuse of power in Bollywood held her…

“You had to have noticed I was uncomfortable … nothing [changed] even after I expressed that I’d like to slow it down.”

Ansari responded: “I’m so sad to hear this. All I can say is, it would never be my intention to make you or anyone feel the way you described. Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”


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