Jon Stewart Says He's "Stunned" By the Louis CK Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Jon Stewart Says He's

The comedian said he was doing a podcast with David Axelrod a year ago when someone in the audience asked him what he thought about swirling allegations against C.K. - and he quickly deflected.

He also revealed he hasn't spoken to the disgraced funnyman about it.

Five women came forward Thursday to accuse C.K. of masturbating in front of them.

The topic of conversation quickly turned to the sexual misconduct allegations about Stewart's friend Louis C.K., which the comedian admitted to after a bombshell New York Times report confirmed several years of rumors.

Stewart described his initial reaction as "stunned", explaining that he tends to give his friends the benefit of the doubt.

"Stunned", said Stewart after a moment's hesitation, before comparing C.K.'s behavior to that of a gambler or alcoholic.

Speaking about C.K., Stewart told Today, "You feel anger at what he did to people", adding, "Look, comedy on its best day is not a great environment for women". So to do it was an act of bravery in and of itself.

"So the internet said Louis harassed women?"

On the subject of laughing it off, the Chicago Tribune yesterday published a video clip of Stewart being asked about the stories surrounding C.K. and sexual misconduct that had been swirling around for years.

Distributors in Scandinavia (Sweden's Nonstop Entertainment), France (ARP Selection) Israel (Shoval Film) and the Middle East (the Dubai-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment) have canceled plans to release Louis C.K.'s I Love You, Daddy in their territories, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety and ScreenDaily report. "I tried to think of it in terms of, I've had friends who have compulsions and who have done things - gambling, or drinking, or drugs - and we've lost some of them".

Stewart said that following the podcast taping, he "dug around" to determine if there was any truth behind the audience member's question. Honestly, I'm not that connected to that world. And as he kept going, I was, 'Look, I know this is very serious. Stewart, who was joined by the benefit's creator Michelle Smigel, had been quiet about the Louis scandal, but many were waiting to a response from him. "Digging around in it and finding that some people had done, it was hard, but we were all assured like, no, but we took somebody's word for it, and maybe that's an error on our part".

She continued, "Louis C.K.'s life is so much a part of his movies and it's very personal, so you can not separate the work from the artist".

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