Actor and comedian Bryan Callen accused of sexual assault, misconduct by multiple women
Four women have reportedly come forward accusing actor-comedian Bryan Callen of incidents of sexual assault or other misconduct spanning multiple decades, which Callen has denied. In a Los Angeles Times story published Friday, former actress Katherine Fiore Tigerman alleged that Callen raped her in 1999, with three other women describing instances of assault or harassment in subsequent years, including an alleged attempt to solicit a sex act in exchange for stage time.
Callen, whose credits include The Hangover, MADtv, and ABC's The Goldbergs, denied all of the allegations in a statement provided to EW, saying, "I have never raped, forced myself upon a woman nor have I offered to trade stage time for sex. EVER....I will not allow the cancel culture to subvert what I know and as importantly, what these women know, is the truth."
In the Times story, Tigerman says she met Callen in 1994 and befriended him after moving to L.A. five years later, when she was 23 years old. She claims that after having dinner one evening in the spring, the two returned to the actor's house, where he forced himself on her and raped her.
"I said... ‘Please, this is not what I want to be doing right now,’” Tigerman told the Times. “And he’s like, ‘You’re gonna love this. We’re just going to get this out of the way. You’re going to love this. You’re going to be my girlfriend.'”
Another accuser reportedly claims Callen pinned her against the wall of a fitting room and started to kiss her against her will. A female comedian alleges he attempted to solicit oral sex from her in exchange for stage time and money. And an aspiring actress, Claire Ganshert, maintains she had a four-year affair with Callen while he was married, beginning in 2012 when she was 23, and says that he told her women have a “biological, primal desire to be raped.” A friend of Ganshert's described their interaction to the Times as "this weird relationship where he was sort of like a mentor but they would hook up.” Multiple individuals reportedly corroborated each woman's account to the Times and recalled hearing of the alleged incident in earlier years.
These accusations come in the wake of misconduct allegations against Callen's friend and fellow comedian Chris D'Elia, whom Callen defended on his podcast The Fighter and the Kid. "I always knew Chris as a ladies' man; I have never seen or heard of him doing anything illegal," Callen said at the time. "Right now I have to believe that, because he’s still a friend."
On an earlier episode of the podcast, comedian Whitney Cummings (who has said she supports D'Elia's accusers) recalled an incident in which Callen exposed himself to her in her car. He said he didn't recall the incident that way, but also said in jest he has "been sexually harassing [Cummings] since I've known her."
Cummings, though she laughed while recounting the episode, added that she "did glean" that Callen "[doesn't] hear 'no' a lot... or you don't listen to it. You don't take it seriously."
Callen's full statement reads:
“Let me be very clear: I have never raped, forced myself upon a woman nor have I offered to trade stage time for sex. EVER. Yes my friend Whitney Cummings and I have ranted ad nauseum about showing her my penis on my podcast, which in no secret to anyone at this point anywhere. As to the woman who claims I raped her 21 years ago: that is demonstrably false. Katherine Fiore and I went on a date. We went to my place. We got intimate and began to have sex at which point she looked at me and said ‘wait, I don’t want to just be a one night stand.’ I immediately stopped and we spoke about her expectations and our 5 year friendship. Several days later Katherine called me and we recapped our evening and hung up as friends. In 2001, she did multiple auditions to play the role of my wife in a television show that would have had us working together every day for years. That is not what rape victims do. And her actions speak volumes.
Equally false is the mud-slinging from a woman whom I had a prior relationship with, seemingly determined to get her name in the press. While there were years of friendly texts and emails exchanges, taking me up on career introductions or her asking to join me at shows, I was clearly not a power player, although her dark false accusations try to paint a different picture. She must have forgotten about the recent email she sent me apologizing for her unrelated misdeeds and promising going forward to only treat me with kindness and respect.
I know the truth. And I can only hold my head up high, remain true to myself, my family, my audience and know that I will not allow the cancel culture to subvert what I know and as importantly, what these women know, is the truth.”