Actor Aziz Ansari was recently accused of sexual misconduct by a woman her went on a date with, and now HLN anchor Ashleigh Banfield is blasting his accuser for her "reckless"claims.
Banfield went on-camera to publicly decry the allegations against the actor and to chide the woman who brought them against him in a Babe.net story.
"Dear Grace (not your real name)," Banfield started, using the anonymous woman's pseudonym. "I'm sorry that you had a bad date. I have had a few myself. They stink." She later added, "But let's take a moment to reflect on what you claim was the 'worst night of your life.'"
"You had a bad date," Banfield continued. "Your date got overly amorous. After protesting his moves, you did not get up and leave right away. You continued to engage in the sexual encounter. By your own clear description, this was not a rape, nor was it a sexual assault."
Tonight on @CrimeJusticeHLN, HLN's @TVAshleigh delivers an open letter to @azizansari's accuser: You have chiseled away at a movement that I, along with all my sisters in the workplace, have been dreaming of for decades... https://t.co/JZcWSArBps— HLN Public Relations (@HLNPR) January 16, 2018
In her recollection of the evening, the woman stated, "I was debating if this was an awkward sexual experience or sexual assault. And that's why I confronted so many of my friends and listened to what they had to say, because I wanted validation that it was actually bad."
"By your description, your sexual encounter was unpleasant. It did not send you to the police, it did not affect your workplace, or your ability to get a job," Banfield added. "So I have to ask you, what exactly was your beef? That you had a bad date with Aziz Ansari? Is that what victimized you to the point of seeking a public conviction and a career-ending sentence against him? Is that truly what you thought he deserved for your night out?"
The reporter also said, "You're 23. What a gift. Yet you look that gift horse in the mouth and chiseled away at that powerful movement with your public accusation. You had an unpleasant date. And you did not leave. That is on you. And all the gains that have been achieved on your behalf and mine are now being compromised by the allegations that you threw out there, and I'm gonna call them reckless and hollow."
Following the accusations him, Ansari released a statement explaining the situation from his perspective.
"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual," his statement began.
"The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned," he then added.
Ansari concluded his statement by saying that he "took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said. I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."