Whitney Cummings Speaks Out About Chris D’Elia Sexual Assault Claims
Whitney Cummings has broken her silence over sexual assault allegations against her friend and former costar Chris D’Elia.
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“It’s taken me a couple days to process the information I have learned about Chris,” the comedian, 37, wrote in a statement on Twitter on Saturday, June 20. “I’m devastated and enraged by what I’ve read and learned.”
Cris D` Elia and Whitney Cummings attend NBC’s Upfront Presentation at Radio City Music Hall on May 14, 2012 in New York City. Shutterstock
“This is a pattern of predatory behavior,” added Cummings, who costarred with D’Elia, 40, in the NBC sitcom Whitney from 2011 to 2013. “This abuse of power is enabled by silence. Now that I’m aware, I won’t be silent.”
“Girls should be able to be a fan of a comedian they admire without becoming a sexual target,” she concluded. “It’s the adult’s responsibility to be an adult.”
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) June 20, 2020
Her statement came on the same day that the Los Angeles Times posted a story in which five women detailed the stand-up comedian’s sexual improprieties.
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Julia Holtzman revealed she got a series of messages from D’Elia when she was 17, culminating with him giving her his phone number and suggesting that she travel to New York City from Long Island to come and see him. She never went, but shared the messages publicly on Twitter earlier this week after several other women came forward with allegations of D’Elia’s inappropriate behavior.
On Tuesday, June 16, a woman named Simone Rossi posted a series of screenshots of emails she and the You alum allegedly exchanged in 2014 and 2015 when she was 16.
“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,” she tweeted. “For the longest time i thought it was embarrassing for ME that i was interacting with this older man but he was the one who DM’d me on twitter and was the one who was twice my age and was the one that used the power imbalance between us to his advantage so f*ck chris d’elia.”
In an interview with the Times, Rossi’s mother, Brooke Askew-Rossi, said that D’Elia had asked her daughter for nude photos.
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“I was disgusted,” she said. “I was incredibly proud of how she handled him, and I’m proud of her years later for sharing her story. If this had to happen, she’s on the right side of the fence, trying to pull women like her up and be a Sherpa.”
D’Elia — whose 2013 special, White Male. Black Comic, has been pulled from Comedy Central along with an episode of Workaholics in which he played a child molester — spoke out in a statement to TMZ on Wednesday, June 17.
“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,” the No Pain star said. “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,” D’Elia concluded. “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.”
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