Four women have accused Callen, the comedian known for his role as P.E. coach Rick Mellor on The Goldbergs and its recently canceled spinoff Schooled, of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. The accusations made in the Los Angeles Times come one week after the newspaper reported that Netflix quietly scrapped a prank show starring Callen and his best friend D'Elia in the aftermath of D'Elia being accused of sexually harassing and soliciting nude photos from underage girls. Among Callen's accusers is former MADtv cast member Kathryn Fiore Tigerman, who alleges Callen raped her in 1999. (Callen was a MADtv cast member several years before Tigerman, in the Fox sketch comedy's inaugural season in 1995-96.) In a statement to The Times, Callen adamantly denied raping Tigerman and said that their encounter was consensual. "Tigerman is not the only woman to claim that Callen was sexually inappropriate with her," reports The Times' Amy Kaufman. "Since June 17 — the day that D’Elia started trending on social media — three additional women told The Times that they had been mistreated by Callen, 53, describing troubling sexual incidents ranging from assault to misconduct to disturbing comments. Their stories suggest a pattern of behavior that spans decades, going back at least as far as 1999, when, Tigerman said, Callen held her down and forced her to have sex with him as she pleaded with him to stop. In the years since, three women claimed, The Goldbergs actor continued to be both verbally and physically aggressive. An American Apparel saleswoman said that in 2009, Callen pinned her against the wall of a fitting room against her will and began to kiss her. An aspiring actress who had a four-year affair with Callen while he was married said he told her in 2016 that women have a 'biological, primal desire to be raped.' One year later, a female comedian (Tiffany King) said, he suggested she give him oral sex in exchange for stage time and money." Callen, who in recent weeks has come to D'Elia's defense, denies all of the accounts. “Let me be very clear: I have never raped, forced myself upon any woman nor offered to trade stage time for sex. EVER,” he said in a statement to the Times. “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 they know, is the truth.” But Kaufman points out that in recent days, Callen has "scrubbed his Instagram account of any trace of D’Elia. Previously, the comic had played up their friendship on the app, where he has 897,000 followers — about 1.4 million fewer than D’Elia. They appeared onstage together at the Comedy Store, did stints on Joe Rogan’s massively popular podcast and had even closed a deal this summer to make a prank show for Netflix." Kaufman also notes that on his podcast in 2016, Whitney Cummings recalled Callen pulling out his penis in front of her while she was giving him a car ride, and that she kidded that she considered having sex with him because he wouldn't take "no" for an answer.
TOPICS: Bryan Callen, ABC, Netflix, The Goldbergs, Schooled, Chris D'Elia, Kathryn Fiore Tigerman, Tiffany King, Whitney Cummings, Sexual Misconduct, Standup Comedy