Neil deGrasse Tyson responds to sexual misconduct accusations

Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson took to Facebook on Saturday, December 1, to respond to sexual misconduct allegations made against him.

“I’ve recently been publicly accused of sexual misconduct,” the astrophysicist, 60, wrote in a lengthy post shared on Facebook. “These accusations have received a fair amount of press in the past forty-eight hours, unaccompanied by my reactions. In many cases, it’s not the media’s fault. I declined comment on the grounds that serious accusations should not be adjudicated in the press. But clearly I cannot continue to stay silent.”

He then addressed the accusations, beginning with one in 2009, where he was accused of “groping” a colleague. Explaining that he gets “almost giddy” when he sees clothing, jewelry or tattoos that portray the universe, deGrasse Tyson wrote that the woman was wearing a sleeveless dress with a tattooed solar system extending up her arm, “and while I don’t explicitly remember searching for Pluto at the top of her shoulder, it is surely something I would have done in that situation.”

“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. “I only just learned (nine years after) that she thought this behavior creepy. That was never my intent and I’m deeply sorry to have made her feel that way.”

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Neil deGrasse Tyson through the years
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Neil deGrasse Tyson through the years
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Photo by Deborah Feingold/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Neil deGrasse Tyson attends TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2007 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 28: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson poses for a portrait at The Rose Center for Earth and Space Hayden Planetarium on February 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Myrna Suarez/Getty Images)
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson travels to the Earth of the Carboniferous in the 'The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth' episode airing Sunday, May 4, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, May 5, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 12: Neil deGrasse Tyson makes a few remarks at a Celebration Of Carl Sagan at The Library of Congress on November 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 13: Neil DeGrasse Tyson (L) and executive producer Seth MacFarlane speak during the FOX portion of the 2014 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 13, 2014 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: More than three decades after Carl Sagan's groundbreaking and iconic series, 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,' it's time once again to set sail for the stars. Host and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson sets off on the Ship of the Imagination to discover Earth's Cosmic Address and its coordinates in space and time in the 'Standing Up in the Milky Way' Series Premiere episode of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY airing Sunday, March 9, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson travels to northern Italy to learn how Albert Einstein developed his famous theories of relativity in the 'A Sky Full of Ghosts' episode of airing Sunday, March 30, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, March 31, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 08: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks onstage at the Neil DeGrasse Tyson Keynote during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 8, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Earl Mcgehee/Getty Images for SXSW)
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Neil deGrasse Tyson in the the 'A Sky Full of Ghosts' episode of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY airing Sunday, March 30, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, March 31, 2014 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0015 -- Pictured: (l-r) Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth Reiss as Pluto during an interview with host Seth Meyers on March 14, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the ideas of death and immortality in the cosmos in the all-new 'The Immortals' episode airing Sunday, May 18, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, May 19, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY: Host Neil deGrasse Tyson in the 'Unafraid of The Dark' Season Finale episode airing Sunday, June 8, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX and Monday, June 9, 2014 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Nat Geo. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan attend the Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey: 'Unafraid Of The Dark' Final Episode Screening at The Paley Center for Media on June 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/WireImage)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07: Neil deGrasse Tyson, author, astrophysicist, lecturer and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, speaks onstage during the National Geographic Channel Special Programming Announcement at the 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 7, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31: Astrophysicist and host of 'COSMOS', Neil deGrasse Tyson poses with award during The 74th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31: (L-R): Ann Druyan, Peabody Award Recipient, and Neil deGrasse Tyson speak onstage at The 74th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson speaks during the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting on September 28, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
Richard Branson, chairman and founder of Virgin Group Ltd., right, speaks as Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, listens during the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. The annual CGI meetings bring together heads of state, leading CEOs, philanthropists, and members of the media to facilitate discussion and forward-thinking initiatives that challenge the way we impact the future. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 03: Neil deGrasse Tyson visits 'Sway in the Morning' with Sway Calloway on Eminem's Shade 45 at SiriusXM Studios on February 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Neil deGrasse Tyson visits at SiriusXM Studio on April 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson attend the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards Day 2 at the Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Neil deGrasse Tyson visits at SiriusXM Studio on September 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and educator Bill Nye attend the screening of 'The Space Between Us' hosted by STX Entertainment with The Cinema Society at Landmark's Sunshine Cinema on January 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 13: Event honoree Neil deGrasse Tyson attends the 2019 Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall St. on May 13, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
Neil DeGrasse Tyson Apologizes for Mass Shooting Tweet: ‘I Got This One Wrong’
ARCHIVO- En esta fotografía del 13 de mayo de 2019 Neil Degrasse Tyson en la 23a entrega anual de los Premios Webby en Cipriani Wall Street en Nueva York. Neil deGrasse Tyson aprendió tras un tuit que decir la verdad no siempre es lo que más ayuda. El astrofísico y autor se disculpó el lunes 5 de agosto de 2019 por un tuit del domingo en el que señaló que más gente muere en Estados Unidos de maneras que llaman menos la atención que los tiroteos masivos en un mismo periodo de dos días. (Foto Christopher Smith/Invision/AP, archivo)
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He then addressed an alleged incident from this past summer, in which he invited a female production assistant to his home for wine and cheese after “clumsily” telling her that he didn’t want a hug from her because, “If I hug you I might just want more.”

The assistant later came to his office to tell him that she was “creeped out” by the invitation to his home, prompting him to apologize profusely before she informed him that it would be their last day working together. “I note that her final gesture to me was the offer of a hug, which I accepted as a parting friend,” he wrote.

The TV personality also detailed an incident in the early 1980s when he had a brief relationship with a fellow astrophysics graduate while he was married to his wife. The woman, Tchiya Amet, alleges that deGrasse Tyson drugged and raped her in 1984, as detailed in an interview with Patheos published on November 8.

“I’m the accused, so why believe anything I say?” he asks. “Why believe me at all?”

Noting that Fox and the National Geographic network, which air his shows Cosmos and StarTalk, will be conducting investigations into the allegations, deGrasse Tyson wrote that he welcomes the independent review and concluded, “Accusations can damage a reputation and a marriage. Sometimes irreversibly. I see myself as loving husband and as a public servant – a scientist and educator who serves at the will of the public. I am grateful for the support I’ve received from those who continue to respect and value me and my work.”

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