Another woman has accused Neil deGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct, joining three others who have previously publicly alleged misconduct — in one case, rape — of the celebrity scientist.
According to BuzzFeed News, the anonymous accuser said that "she joined her then-boyfriend at a holiday party for employees of the American Museum of Natural History" in 2010, where Tyson allegedly propositioned her for sex.
“Tyson, its most famous employee, drunkenly approached her, she said, making sexual jokes and propositioning her to join him alone in his office," BuzzFeed reports. "In a 2014 email shared with BuzzFeed News, she described the incident to her own employer in order to shoot down a proposed collaboration with Tyson."
The publication reports that it has been investigating Tyson for nearly three years, speaking with nearly 30 people for the story, including the alleged victims and their families as well as Cosmos crew members and students and professors who spent time with Tyson while he attended the University of Texas in Austin 30 years ago.
One of the accusers, Tchiya Amet, said Tyson drugged and raped her in the 1980s while they were both attending the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, a physical and astronomy professor at Bucknell University, said she was "felt up" by Tyson during a party after an American Astronomical Society meeting in 2009. And Ashley Watson, a former Tyson assistant, said she quit her job because of his "inappropriate sexual advances" and "predatory tendencies."
Fox, which is set to air a revival of his 2004 PBS show Cosmos, and National Geographic, which airs his show StarTalk, announced they were investigating the allegations against Tyson on Friday.
"The credo at the heart of COSMOS is to follow the evidence wherever it leads," National Geographic said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "The producers of COSMOS can do no less in this situation. We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”
"We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson. We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports," Fox said in a statement to Variety.
Tyson released a lengthy statement via social media on Saturday apologizing for what he said were clumsy, misunderstood displays of affection. He also addressed Amet's assault allegation, saying he briefly dated her while he was a graduate student but denied drugging and raping her, suggesting that she misremembered the incident.
He added, "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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