You no doubt know by now that comedian Chris D'Elia has been accused by several women, some anonymously and others publicly, of hitting on them via DM while they were underage. If not, here is Kate's write up, with all the grammatically correct and legally responsible variations on "alleged" and "allegations" that keep our corporate lawyers sleeping well at night, dreaming happy dreams of being plaintiffs in lawsuits, not defendants.
And after laying low for a while, D'Elia has broken his silence to TMZ:
The comedian tells TMZ … "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." Chris goes on to say, "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."
He finishes by saying, "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."
And that's where we stand at the moment. It's your classic standoff between wanting to #BelieveAllWomen and wanting to protect every person's right to due process. We're in that tricky act of balancing the scales of justice, with supporting victims of predatory behavior on one side, and giving the accused their day in court on the other. Caught between the rock of giving either side the benefit of the doubt and the hard place of saying they can't both be telling the truth.
In "Star Trek," they call this "The Kobyashi Maru:" The unwinnable scenario. On the one hand, nobody wants to make it harder for women who've been victims of creepy behavior - especially underage teenagers who haven't yet awoken to how sick that is - to come forward. But on the other, you don't want to destroy a guy's reputation when he says nothing he's done has been illegal until you have probable cause. As Hunter S. Thompson put it, even Satan has the right to good counsel.
At the risk of Both-Sidesing this, maybe Simone Rossi was absolutely convinced that D'Elia knew she was below the age of consent when they had this exchange:
… and maybe D'Elia is absolutely convinced he thought she was a legal adult. Nobody knows but them. And disputes like this are the reason every district in the country has a courthouse, to get to the closest thing we can to objective truth.
What I do know is, if Chris D'Elia is serious about owning this and doing better, he should start by not saying stuff like this any more:
Saying that 14-year-olds look just like 30-year-olds is Page 1 stuff in the "True Pedophile's Handbook." Dropping that kind of talk is a great first step toward getting your reputation back.