Comedian Chris D’ Elia Denies Sexual Misconduct Allegations
A host of allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced against comedian Chris D’ Elia that include three instances of exposure and the solicitation of sexual favors with minors, engaging in behavior that they claim was “grooming.”
Three women – Megan Drust, Laura Vitarelli, and the anonymous former manager at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel – revealed their accounts of D’Elia exposing himself to them to CNN. The first instance occurred in 2011 after Durst, D’Elia and a mutual friend had shared a meal at Jones Restaurant. After their meal was finished, D’Elia had asked Durst for a car ride to his home nearby. She claimed, “I said, ‘Sure.’ This was really before everyone was taking Ubers and I had marked him as safe, which equals a non-threatening male.” Later on, the evening allegedly took a dark, unexpected turn when D’Elia requested that Drust pleasure him. When she refused, he supposedly began to gratify himself, forcing Drust to temporarily flee the vehicle out of fright. She reports telling her friends of the event and feeling bewildered when D’Elia had finished to just look at her and silently walk off.
In 2015, at a hotel near West Nyack, N.Y., D’Elia had reportedly exposed himself to a then 19-year-old Vitarelli while she was accompanied by one of her friends, according to CNN. The two had attended one of D’Elia’s comedy performances and allegedly had been asked to come to a party he was attending later on in the evening. D’Elia had given them an address that ended up being his hotel. Vitarelli recounts in the interview that D’Elia had confiscated their cellphones and began groping them to the point that they attempted to flee, only for him to allegedly further reveal himself and try convincing them to stay.
The third adult woman in the case, who remains anonymous in order to protect herself from retaliation, told CNN that D’ Elia had greeted her while he was fully naked when she had come up to his hotel room under the pretense that he needed his air conditioner repaired during a 2018 incident.
Two other younger women had published tweets accusing D’Elia of further misconduct, which allegedly occurred when they were underage. Simone Rossi and Abby Grills, ages 16 and 17 respectively at the time of the reported incidents, claim that D’Elia attempted to groom them and tried to solicit pictures from them via e-mail and text messages.
On June 16, Rossi posted, “imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically m*lested was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age.”
imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically m*lested was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age pic.twitter.com/xq7XDrat8i
— simoné 🕸 (@girlpowertbh) June 16, 2020
The next day, Grills published a tweet that read, “What’s really weird to me looking back at these is that in my head, he didn’t know I was 17 until I told him to stop messaging me. But I now see I told him several times. I had been giving him the benefit of the doubt all these years”
What’s really weird to me looking back at these is that in my head, he didn’t know I was 17 until I told him to stop messaging me. But I now see I told him several times. I had been giving him the benefit of the doubt all these years
— Abby Grills (@AGrillz) June 17, 2020
D’Elia personally responded to People magazine, “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. That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was 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.”