New Details About The Neil DeGrasse Tyson Allegations And Sexual Misconduct Investigation

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New Details Neil DeGrasse Tyson Sexual Misconduct Rape Allegations Police Investigation
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Neil deGrasse Tyson has denied the sexual misconduct allegations that have been raised against him by multiple women. On Saturday, the Cosmos host took to Facebook to address the accusations, penning a lengthy Facebook post in which he addresses the allegations. 

Fox and National Geographic have launched an investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations, following a recent report published by Patheos in which two women accused the celebrity astrophysicist of sexual misconduct.

"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 and National Geographic said in a statement.

“The credo at the heart of ‘Cosmos’ is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. 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,” added the producers of Tyson's series, which is set to premiere its second season in March.

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In Saturday's Facebook post, Tyson addressed his initial silence in response to the reports, which first surfaced back in October 2017. 

"I declined comment on the grounds that serious accusations should not be adjudicated in the press. But clearly I cannot continue to stay silent."

Tyson then goes on to address each accusation individually. Here are the new details on the recent allegations, and Tyson's response to each. 

1. Tchyia Amet

While the allegations against Tyson have only recently reached a boiling point, they were actually first back in 2014, when a former classmate of Tyson's wrote about an incident between the two in a blog post. Achit, who changed her name from Staci Hambric, says Tyson drugged and raped her when they were both grad students at the University of Texas in Austin back in 1984.

Amet, a musician, says she once dreamed of becoming the first black female astronaut, before suffering PTSD and ultimately dropping out of grad school following her assault. 

Patheos first reported on Amet's allegations in October 2017, then again last month. In his Facebook post, Tyson denies the allegations, claiming that he and Amet dated briefly.

"Over this time I had a brief relationship with a fellow astro-graduate student, from a more recent entering class. I remember being intimate only a few times, all at her apartment, but the chemistry wasn’t there. So the relationship faded quickly. There was nothing otherwise odd or unusual about this friendship," Tyson wrote.

Amet, however, denies Tyson's claims. "Just for the record, WE NEVER EVER DATED," Amet shared in a tweet on Saturday. 

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2. Dr. Katelyn N. Allers 

In the Patheos article published last week, Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, a physics and astronomy professor at Buckness University, claims that Tyson "felt her up" at a party following an event for the American Astronomical Society in 2009. She explains that she didn't report the incident at the time because AAS “didn’t have a mechanism for reporting sexual harassment." 

Allers also described an incident in which Tyson, after posing for a picture, "grabbed" her to examine a solar system tattoo.

"He noticed my tattoo and kind of grabbed me to look at it, and was really obsessed about whether I had Pluto on this tattoo or not… and then he looked for Pluto, and followed the tattoo into my dress."

In his response, Tyson says he was unaware that Allers found his behavior uncomfortable.

"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," Tyson wrote in his response, admitting that he recalled the incident, but only as "simply a search under the covered part of her shoulder of the sleeveless dress."

3. Ashley Watson 

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The recent Patheos article also includes details of allegations made by Ashley Watson, Tyson's former assistant. Watson claims she quit her job as a production assistant on the set of Cosmos this summer as a result of Tyson's repeated inappropriate advances. In the article, Watson revealed that Tyson invited her over to his apartment one night for wine. Upon leaving, Tyson engaged Watson in what he called a "Native American handshake," which involved tight hand holding and prolonged eye contact. Finding the interaction uncomfortable, Watson reported Tyson's behavior to a supervisor, who supported her decision to quit. 

In his response to the allegations, Tyson refers to the handshake as a cherished gestured he saves "in appreciation of people with whom I’ve developed new friendships," adding that he was not aware of Watson's discomfort until later when Watson announced her intended departure from her position.

"At that last meeting in my office, I apologized profusely. She accepted the apology. And I assured her that had I known she was uncomfortable, I would have apologized on the spot, ended the evening, and possibly reminded her of the other social gathering that she could attend."

Tyson went on to offer a conclusion, writing: "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."

He also added that he "welcomes" the investigations into the allegations.

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Kayla Kibbe is a writer wrapping up her final semester at Connecticut College where she is an English major with a concentration in creative writing. She covers trending celebrity and entertainment news, love and relationships, and astrology.

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