Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has been accused of sexual misconduct by three different women after they came forward with stories of instances of sexual wrongdoing on Tyson’s part.
First, Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, a colleague of Tyson’s detailed an encounter in 2009 at an after-party following an American Astronomical Society meet up.
“Tyson was there, and he was dancing and drinking and all of that at the party, so a friend and I decided to get pictures with him,” Dr. Allers tells Patheos. “After we had taken the picture, 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.” Allers explains that the tattoo was a depiction of a solar system “that stretches from her arm to her back and collarbone area.”
According to her, Tyson began to peek underneath her dress in order to find Pluto and while she acknowledges that the instance was not necessarily assault, it points to what she describes as “creepy behavior.”
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Tyson’s second accuser Ashley Watson was Tyson’s assistant and claims that she had to quit her job after multiple sexual advances. Also speaking with Patheos, Watson alleges that her former boss attempted to persuade her to sleep with him, demonstrating “predatory tendencies.”
Additionally, musician Tchiya Amet detailed a story about Tyson allegedly drugging her and raping her when they were both graduate students in the ‘80s.
Amet alleges that while at Tyson’s apartment, she was offered a drink and that she remembers waking up in his bed: “I was naked… When he saw that I had woken up, he got on top of me and mounted me, and I passed out again.”
Amet says that she never came forward with the allegations because she previously had another case of sexual assault as an undergrad and when she went to the authorities, she was told not to say anything out of protection of the person’s reputation.
Since the allegations were published, the producers and network that pushes Tyson’s “Cosmos” television show have issued a promise to investigate the claims.
“The credo at the heart of ‘Cosmos’ is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” producers of the show tell Deadline. “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,” Fox and National Geographic add in a joint statement. “We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports.”