Astrophysicist and Cosmos TV presenter Neil deGrasse Tyson has denied multiple accusations of sexual misconduct levelled against him.
Tyson is accused of misconduct by two women, and of drugging and raping a third.
Dr. Katelyn N. Allers accused Tyson of groping her at an American Astronomical Society after-party in 2009. Tyson says he was trying to find Dr. Allers’ tattoo of Pluto, which may have been obscured by her dress. “I was reported to have ‘groped’ her by searching ‘up her dress’, when this was simply a search under the covered part of her shoulder of the sleeveless dress,” he wrote on Facebook.
His assistant on Cosmos, Ashely Watson, accused him of pressuring her into coming to his apartment for wine and making repeated passes at her. In his Facebook statement, Tyson characterised the night as containing normal conversation and that the only time he touched her was to give a special Native American handshake that an elder had taught him at the Grand Canyon.
Musician Tchiya Amet claimed earlier this month that Tyson drugged and raped her when they were both in graduate school. Tyson claims their relationship was a casual dating relationship. “I remember being intimate only a few times, all at her apartment, but the chemistry wasn’t there. So the relationship faded quickly.”
Tyson said he had refrained from commenting previously “on the grounds that serious accusations should not be adjudicated in the press.” He then immediately launched into a defece of his actions, claiming that he “clearly” can no longer stay silent.
“In any claim, evidence matters. Evidence always matters,” wrote Tyson. “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.”
FOX and National Geographic are conducting investigations into the claims, which Tyson stated “would have [his] full cooperation.”
A new series of Cosmos is due next March on National Geographic.