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Under-fire US comic admits to sexual misconduct

© GETTY I/AFP/File | Comedian Louis C.K., seen here in a file photo taken on September 15, 2017, says the stories accusing him of sexual misconduct "are true"

NEW YORK (AFP) - 

US comedian Louis C.K. admitted sexual misconduct and expressed remorse Friday after a New York Times expose accused him of masturbating in front of women amid Hollywood's burgeoning sexual harassment scandal.

"These stories are true," C.K. said in a statement released by his representative to US media a day after the newspaper expose from five women.

The Times published accusations from the women saying that the award-winning comic masturbated or asked to masturbate in front of them or on the telephone in separate incidents dating from the late 1990s to 2005.

"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," said C.K. in the statement.

"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," he said.

On Thursday, the premiere of his new movie "I Love You, Daddy," was abruptly cancelled, and the award-winner canceled an appearance on CBS comedy chat show "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," the Times reported.

The comedian's accusers told the paper that his behavior was abusive.

On Friday, C.K. said there was "nothing about this that I forgive myself for" and claimed he could "hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought" on the women and colleagues with whom he has worked, now impacted by the scandal.

"I've brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother," he said.

© 2017 AFP