The comedian responds to New York Times allegations, says he will “step back” from his career.

Louis C.K. has released a statement responding to allegations against him reported in the New York Times on Thursday. In it, he acknowledges as true the stories that he has masturbated in front of women without their explicit consent, and he apologizes.

Louis CK has put out a statement. “These stories are true,” he says.

— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) November 10, 2017

“These stories are true,” he writes in the second paragraph. “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”

Rumors have swirled around C.K. since 2012, when a Gawker blind item about a famous comedian masturbating in front of two other comedians was thought to be about him. The Times article identified these two women — Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov — and then named three others, as well as a sixth who declined to publish her name.

“There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for,” C.K. says in the statement. “And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with.”

In the wake of the article’s publication, the release of C.K.’s new film, I Love You, Daddy, has been canceled. His production company, Pig Newton, has numerous TV shows in production, including the FX series Read More Here