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Fox Is Investigating Neil DeGrasse Tyson After Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct

Three women have accused the celebrity astrophysicist of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Posted on November 30, 2018, at 11:26 p.m. ET

Craig Barritt / Getty Images

Fox Broadcasting Company and National Geographic are investigating astrophysicist and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson after three women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.

In a statement, the producers of Cosmos promised a thorough investigation.

“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,” they said. “We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”

Fox Broadcasting and National Geographic, which airs the documentary series, added they were taking the matter seriously.

“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.”

One woman’s account had received some attention online for several years, but new allegations surfaced this month.

Tchiya Amet, a woman who attended graduate school with Tyson, wrote in 2014 about an encounter that she said left her traumatized for decades. Amet said she was friends with Tyson in the 1980s at the University of Texas at Austin, and was at his apartment when he offered her something to drink. She said he drugged and raped her.

Her story received renewed attention from religion blog Patheos in light of the #MeToo movement. Writer David McAfee published an interview with Amet earlier this month, prompting two other women to come forward with stories of other alleged misconduct.

Katelyn Allers, an associate professor at Bucknell University, told McAfee that she’d met deGrasse Tyson at an afterparty of an American Astronomical Society event in 2009. She approached him to take a photo, and he complimented a tattoo that spanned her collarbone, back, and shoulder — then grabbed her and reached into her dress to see it better, she told Patheos.

Allers added she didn’t consider the encounter sexual assault, but she believed it revealed a lack of respect.

“My experience with him is he’s not someone who has great respect for female bodily autonomy,” she told Patheos.

Ashley Watson told Patheos she worked as Tyson’s assistant and quit after several instances of sexual harassment, including a sexual advance and sexual comments.

“I feel like most people don’t believe he’s a predator because of his status as an educator,” she wrote in a text message, according to Patheos.

A message to deGrasse Tyson wasn’t immediately returned.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.