Comedian Bryan Callen Takes Leave Of Absence From Podcast After Denying Sexual Assault Allegations
Comedian Bryan Callen has spoken out after denying sexual assault or misconduct allegations by four women. The comedian is also taking a leave of absence from his podcast for the time being.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that Callen was accused of raping actress Katherine Fiore Tigerman in 1999. Three other women also came forward with allegations against Callen.
Callen denied all of the claims against him in a Twitter statement he posted on Friday. “Let me be very clear: I have never raped, forced myself upon any woman nor offered to trade stage time for sex. EVER,” he wrote. “The horrific and false allegations originated in today’s LA TIMES will be addressed in detail in a special Saturday night edition of my podcast TFATK tomorrow. I will now allow the cancel culture to subvert what I know and as importantly, what these women know, is the truth.”
However, Callen didn’t address the allegations on the Saturday episode of his podcast, The Fighter and The Kid, as he had planned. The comedian instead posted an Instagram video on Sunday denying the reports and said he would “obviously” be taking a break from his weekly podcast.
In the three-minute video captioned “For my fans” Callen said, “When you’re in a situation like I am, you get a lot of advice from a lot of different people, and it usually falls into two different categories: they either tell you to post a statement and disappear, or they say lay low and let the news cycle pass you by.” He continued, “Well, for better or for worse, I’m not doing any of that.”
The comedian then said he “never thought in a million years” he would be “defending himself against sexual assault allegations.” He went on to explain why he posted a video instead of a written statement.
“This is me saying I categorically and absolutely deny all the allegations against me. I wanted you to see me say that, I didn’t want to post some stale statement. I wanted you to hear that come out of my mouth.”
Callen also discussed his support for the #MeToo movement. “I happen to believe … that the #MeToo movement is one of the most important movements of my lifetime, because for the first time in history it gives women recourse against the abuse of power, and that makes the world a better place. And that is not a political statement, that’s just fair play. And I believe in fair play. But I also believe in due process,” he continued, “and we live in a very strange time where anybody can make an allegation against you and you are guilty until proven innocent. It’s just a fact that social media and the press alone can act as judge, jury and executioner. … When something like this happens, this is pretty much the only way you can defend yourself.”
The sexual assault and misconduct allegations made against the comedian come after Callen’s wife, Amanda Humphrey, filed for divorce in February.