Neil DeGrasse Tyson Responds To Sexual Misconduct Claims
Astrophysicist and 'Cosmos' host Neil deGrasse Tyson has written a response to the sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced this weekend.
Three women have come forward with allegations against deGrasse Tyson, according to a report published by journalist David McAfee on Patheos.
The two most recent claims have come from astrophysics academic Dr Katelyn N Allers, and deGrasse Tyson's former assistant Ashley Watson. The first allegation was made in 2017 by musician Tchyia Amet -- who claimed that deGrasse Tyson drugged and raped her when they were both graduate students in the 1980s.
The famed scientist has now written a lengthy Facebook post, providing his perspective on the claims that have been raised and denouncing the "court of public opinion" in the #MeToo era.
"I’m the accused, so why believe anything I say? Why believe me at all?" he wrote on Sunday.
"For a variety of reasons, most justified, some unjustified, men accused of sexual impropriety in today’s “me-too” climate are presumed to be guilty by the court of public opinion. Emotions bypass due-process, people choose sides, and the social media wars begin."
The astrophysicist then went on to address the various "incidents" that have been raised by his three accusers.
In the Patheos report, Dr Allers alleged deGrasse Tyson groped her at a party after looking at a tattoo of Pluto on her arm.
"I only just learned (nine years after) that she thought this behaviour creepy," deGrasse Tyson said in response .
"That was never my intent and I’m deeply sorry to have made her feel that way. Had I been told of her discomfort in the moment, I would have offered this same apology eagerly, and on the spot. In my mind’s eye, I’m a friendly and accessible guy, but going forward, I can surely be more sensitive to people’s personal space, even in the midst of my planetary enthusiasm."
He then detailed his point of view on the 'summer 2018 incident' involving his former assistant Ashley Watson, noting she had previously told him "she was creeped out" by his behaviour at a wine and cheese evening.
He said he had "apologised profusely" and "assured her that had I known she was uncomfortable, I would have apologised on the spot, ended the evening."
He has strenuously denied the rape allegations made by Amet, saying that while they did have a brief relationship in the 1980s, the event in question "never actually happened".
The producers of 'Cosmos' -- which is hosted by deGrasse Tyson -- and the Fox Network have both released statements saying they are investigating the claims.
deGrasse Tyson ended his post by saying he welcomed the planned independent investigations.
Main Image: Getty Images.