Oh wow, get ready for some SHOCKING news. Yet another male stand-up comedian has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women. And hold on to your hats for this one folks; the creep in question is Chris D’Elia’s best friend. His name is Bryan Callen, who I recognized as Carrie’s jackrabbit one-night stand from Sex and the City. Apparently he’s an LA stand up who’s been on The Goldbergs, Oz, MadTV, and appears frequently on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which… duh. A Venn diagram of Joe Rogan regulars and perv comics is just one solid circle.
This morning the Los Angeles Times released a story detailing the accusations, all of which 53-year-old Bryan adamantly denies. Actress Katherine Fiore Tigerman, who also appeared MadTV, says that Bryan raped her, and when his bestie Chris D’Elia was outed as a creep, she wondered if others would accuse Bryan of similar behavior. They did. Three more women came forward to say they’d been assaulted by Bryan.
Let’s begin with Katherine. On the night of the alleged rape in 1999, Bryan and Katherine went out for what she thought was a platonic dinner between old friends. At the restaurant, she drank half a glass of wine, which left her feeling nauseous and disoriented. After agreeing to go with Bryan to a movie, he suggested driving to his house first to look up showtimes in the newspaper.
At his home, Bryan began kissing Katherine on the couch. Uncomfortable and sick, she went to the bathroom, and decided to tell him she wasn’t interested and to take her home. But when she opened the door, Bryan was waiting for her and assaulted her. Katherine says she couldn’t escape, and “checked out”. After it was over, she burst into tears, and when Bryan noticed, he allegedly said, “Aw, come on. What am I, a big bad rapist? I’m not a big bad rapist. Come on, you’re gonna be my girlfriend now. We needed to get this out of the way.” Then, at her insistence, he drove her home.
Katherine says she immediately called her best friend and then-boyfriend to tell them what happened. They both corroborated this fact. As does her husband and close friend, whom she told years later. She decided not to pursue legal action because she was scared if her father found out he’d attack Bryan and go to jail. And also because “the idea of going to the cops and submitting a rape kit felt too physically invasive.”
Yesterday Bryan told The Times that Katherine’s claim of rape is “demonstrably false,” and they “BOTH agreed to have sex.” He also says that Katherine auditioned to be in a TV series with him years later and that’s proof that he didn’t rape her, saying, “that is not what rape victims do”. Katherine says she didn’t want to audition with her assaulter, but a friend talked her into it, because “if you miss out on this job, then he wins”. She didn’t get the job.
Three other women have come forward with accusations. Another comedian, Tiffany King, says that in 2017 Bryan told her if she gave him a blow job she’d get stage time and money. Rachel Green, an American Apparel salesperson, alleges Bryan pinned her against the wall of a fitting room and kissed her against her will in 2009.
Then there’s Bryan’s four-year affair with a much younger woman, Claire Ganshert, which began in 2012 when she was 23 and he was 45. Claire wasn’t aware he’d been married since 2008, and she was starstruck. She says Bryan offered to help her career (sigh):
“He would say things like, ‘When you go into an audition room, you definitely can’t wear an engagement ring. You need to make them think they can fuck you,’” she said. “I’m a theater actor, but he kept telling me I needed to be funny and create content based off of me sexualizing myself.”
She also said he told her that women have a “biological, primal desire to be raped.”
In response to these allegations, Bryan says Claire is just “mudslinging” to “get her name in the press”. Um, dude clearly isn’t working with a publicist, because these denials aren’t exactly feminist-friendly. He’s blaming it all on cancel culture:
“Let me be very clear: I have never raped, forced myself upon any woman nor offered to trade stage time for sex. EVER,” he said in a statement to the Times. “I know the truth. And I can only hold my head up high, remain true to myself, my family, my audience and know that I will not allow the cancel culture to subvert what I know and as importantly, what they know, is the truth.”
Before Chris D’Elia was accused of being a creep, Bryan used their friendship to get more attention and followers. Although he initially defended his buddy, he later deleted all of his Chris photos from Instagram. The two often worked together, even closing a deal earlier this summer to co-star on a Netflix prank show. Surprise, it’s been scrapped! YA PRANKED.
The LA Times also gets into his friendship with Whitney Cummings. On his podcast in 2016, Whitney said that, on a car ride home from a comedy show, Bryan pulled his penis out. On the podcast, he said he didn’t remember doing it, but believed her story. He says he’s always been honest about his creepiness. Whitney laughed and says she didn’t think Bryan was the type of guy who hears “no” a lot, or at least he doesn’t listen to rejection or take it seriously.
“I’m a rapist,” Callen replied in jest.
“I remember being like, ‘Oh, I’m just going to have to have sex with him because he’s not going to take ‘no’ for an answer. I’m just gonna do this to get him to go away,’” said Cummings on the show.
Whitney declined to comment on the LA Times’ article. Last month she released a statement about her rage and devastation over close friend/former co-worker Chris D’Elia’s predatory behavior.
This morning Amy Schumer posted expressing her solidarity with Bryan’s accusers:
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The @latimes just published this article by @amykinla about the repeat offenses of Bryan Callen. Thank you to the brave women coming forward and sharing their stories. You are saving the women who may have come after you. And to the comics who are annoyed with me for standing with these ladies what are you so afraid of? Available on my number in my bio if anyone wants to talk about Bryan or any one else who has sexually assaulted you. @bryancallen have a nice day.
Too bad LA’s Comedy Store is still closed due to pandemic. I’d love to visit, grab at the drink at the bar, and yell “HEY, PERV!”, just to see which stand-ups piss their pants in terror. Better than a lie detector test.