Following allegations of sexual misconduct and amid investigation by National Geographic and Fox Broadcasting Company Cosmos star Neil deGrasse Tyson has broken his silence. While apologizing for the unwellness of a woman, he denied the on-going claim that he had drugged and raped a woman while attending graduate school.
In a lengthy post shared by Facebook on Saturday, the astrophysicist apologized for what was featured in a report on Patheo's religion blog during a photo shoot for the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in 2009, This was claimed by Katelyn Allers, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bucknell University, during a conference after the Tyson conference She followed a tattoo by Pluto "in [her]". She told the blog that Tyson was "not someone who has great respect for the woman's physical autonomy."
Tyson said he learned "only nine years later," she thought this behavior was scary, "and he was deeply sorry she had felt that way. He added:
Had I known of her discomfort at the moment, I would have uttered the same apology annoyingly and immediately. In my mind's eye, I am a friendly and approachable person, but in the future I can certainly be more sensitive to the personal space of people, even in the midst of my planetary enthusiasm.
Tyson also referred to the allegations of Ashley Watson, his former assistant, that she was forced to quit her job after Tyson came upon her. Watson worked for Tyson all summer long, telling Patheos she had learned about Tyson's inappropriate behavior after hours of wine and cheese at his home.
Tyson confirmed a meeting in which Watson addressed the evening and told him that his behavior made her feel unwell. He specifically looked at an encounter reported by Patheos in which a handshake of the Native Americans was described as "incredibly intimate."
I did not touch her until I shook her hand at parting. On that occasion, I had offered a special handshake that I had learned from a local elder on reservation land on the edge of the Grand Canyon. They stretch their thumbs forward during the handshake to feel the life energy of another person ̵1; the pulse. I have never forgotten this handshake, and I keep it for the appreciation of the people with whom I have made new friends.
At this last meeting in my office, I apologized many times. She accepted the apology. And I assured her that if I had known she was feeling unwell, I would have apologized immediately, ended the evening, and possibly recalled the other social gathering she could attend. She explained it nevertheless to their last day, since only few days of the production were left.
Tyson wrote that Watson's last gesture for me was the offer of a hug that I accepted as a farewell friend by Patheos Tyson told Watson during the meeting that she "will never rise through the ranks of her career because she wants to"
The author of the Patheos report, David McAfee, has repeatedly brought to the surface an allegation made by Tchiya Amet in a blog entry in 2014 that Tyson has drugged and raped, claiming that the rape is In 1984, when she and Tyson graduated together at the University of Texas at Austin, in an interview published in November, Amet reportedly reported to the Web site that she was suffering from PTSD after the incident "broke off the program repeatedly sought after therapy. "
Tyson wrote that he had a" brief relationship "with Amet and that he remembered" that he only was intimate a few times, everything in her apartment, but the chemistry was not there. "Tyson said he met her a few years later when he learned she had graduated
Patheos reported that Amet got her name "Staci Hambric" changed what seems to be confirmed by Tyson. He wrote that he did not recognize her name when Amet accused him of being raped in 2014. In his post, Tyson denied the rape allegations, Writing:
[A] According to her blog posts, the drug and rape allegations stem from the assumption of what happened to her on a night she can not remember. It's as if a fake memory had been implanted that, because it never happened, must be remembered as an evening she does not remember. She also does not remember that she woke up the next morning and went to the office. I recorded everything she posted, if her stories changed over time. That is sad, which is not an explanation for me.
According to allegations published by Patheos, National Geographic and Fox Cosmos they announced that they are initiating an investigation of the allegations. Tyson writes on Facebook that he welcomes the investigation.
"Allegations can damage a good name and a marriage. Sometimes irreversible, "Tyson said. "I see myself as a [a] loving husband and a civil servant – a scientist and educator who serves the will of the public. I am grateful for the support I have received from those who continue to respect and appreciate me and my work.