It is being reported that renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is under investigation after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced online by at least three women.
Tyson is currently the host of a television series titled “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” played on Fox Broadcasting Company and National Geographic, and is being investigated by the networks amid the allegations.
“We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil DeGrasse Tyson. We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports,” the networks said in a statement, as the Washington Examiner reports.
As Variety reports, the investigation followed a report on blogging-site Patheos “in which two women accused Tyson of inappropriate sexual behavior.”
Here’s more on the allegation, per the Washington Examiner:
Tchiya Amet, a woman who attended graduate school with Tyson, accused Tyson of drugging and raping her in the 1980s. Her story has received attention for several years, but a new interview with Amet published earlier this month prompted two other women to come forward to allege misconduct.
Katelyn Allers, an associate professor at Bucknell University, said she met Tyson at a party at 2009, when he allegedly grabbed her and reached into her dress to better see a tattoo on her collarbone, back, and shoulder.
She said she didn’t consider the incident sexual assault, but she thought it showed a lack of respect.
Ashley Watson said she worked as Tyson’s assistant but quit after several instances of sexual harassment.
Producers of “Cosmos” were similarly reluctant of weighing in on the allegations and instead, they said they would be willing to abide by the results of the investigation.
“The credo at the heart of ‘Cosmos’ is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” the producers said in a joint statement. “The producers of ‘Cosmos’ can do no less in this situation. We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”
The show, which began in 2014 and is expected to have a second season in 2019, is produced by Seth MacFarlane, Ann Druyan, Brannon Bragan, and some others.
As the Hollywood Reporter reports, Tyson responded to the allegations in a lengthy post on social media where he denied the claims and said he would cooperate fully with the investigation.
“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,” Tyson said on his Facebook page. “In any claim, evidence matters. Evidence always matters. But what happens when it’s just one person’s word against another’s, and the stories don’t agree? That’s when people tend to pass judgment on who is more credible than whom. And that’s when an impartial investigation can best serve the truth – and would have my full cooperation to do so.”
“I’ve recently been publically accused of sexual misconduct. These accusations have received a fair amount of press in the past forty-eight hours, unaccompanied by my reactions,” the astrophysicist continued. “In many cases, it’s not the media’s fault. I declined comment on the grounds that serious accusations should not be adjudicated in the press. But clearly I cannot continue to stay silent. So below I offer my account of each accusation.”
In the post, he addressed the 2009 claim, the summer of 2018 claim, and the claim from the 1980s.