Comedian, actor and Congratulations podcast host Chris D’Elia is firmly denying allegations that he sent sexually inappropriate messages to and harassed underage women.
Twitter user Simone Rossi accused the 40-year-old stand-up of “grooming” and attempting to meet her when she was 16 years old. Rossi pointed out that D’Elia, who weirdly refers to fans of his podcast as “Babies,” portrayed a comedian with a history of sexually abusing teenage girls on Season 2 of Netflix’s You.
“imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically (molested) was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age,” she tweeted under the username @girlpowertbh. “for the longest time i thought this was just a funny story to tell at parties when i realized what happened isn’t normal and that he was and could still be doing this to younger girls and it’s my job to say something.”
Another Twitter user, Abby Grills, produced screenshots of what are allegedly messages D’Elia sent her on Facebook messenger in 2011, when she was 17 years old. Even after Grills told D’Elia of her age, he allegedly continued an admittedly creepy dialogue with her, writing, “I think you’re cute. We should text.”
D’Elia responded to the allegations in a statement obtained by Deadline:
“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point. All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me. That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better.”
Two of D’elia’s close friends, Bryan Callen and Brendan Schaub, reacted to the controversy on an episode of their hit podcast The Fighter and the Kid, of which D’Elia is a frequent guest.
“I’m at a lost. And I’m praying that what I’m hearing isn’t true,” Callen said. It’s like watching someone die or something.” A visibly verklempt Schaub simply said, “I can’t talk.”