The rash of sexual misconduct allegations being lodged against high-profile personalities isn’t over yet.
The latest culprit is apparently Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has been accused by three separate women of sexual misconduct.
Tyson was first accused of sexual misconduct in the 1980s by Tchiya Amet, who says that Tyson raped her. Decades later, Katelyn Allers, an associate professor at Bucknell University, claimed that Tyson grabbed her inappropriately at a party to see a tattoo on her back area in 2009.
Allers said that she did not believe this constituted sexual assault, but she does believe it showed a lack of respect.
The most recent allegation against the astronomer comes from Ashley Walton, who apparently worked for Tyson, but quit her job due to Tyson allegedly harassing her on several occasions.
Both Fox News and National Geographic are now investigating these claims.
On Saturday, Tyson made a post on Facebook to explain his version of what happened. According to the scientist, Walton’s allegations against him came out of what he described as just a few friendly gestures.
Tyson offered her a hug with an off-color comment, he says. He also had the young lady at his home for some wine and cheese after production, he admitted, and, upon her leaving, Tyson said he shook her hand with a special handshake.
The next day, the woman told him she had been creeped out, at which time Tyson says he apologized. According to Tyson, they went their separate ways after a hug.
Tyson went on to explain that in 2009, Tyson was asked for a photograph by Allers, who had a rather interesting tattoo running up her arm and across her shoulders and neck of the solar system.
Tyson believes he did nothing wrong by looking at the tattoo, and once again stated that had she told him she was uncomfortable, he would not have entered her “personal space” to check out the ink work.
Finally, the scientist said that the rape allegation from the ’80s came from a woman he once dated.
He said they dated briefly and only had a couple of intimate evenings together when they both realized there was no real connection. They went their separate ways and he never thought about it again until she made public allegations against him, he maintained.
Innocent or Guilty?
It’s perfectly understandable how these incidents could have come across as creepy.
But while the perception by the ladies was in the second two allegations is different from Tyson’s, if his story is accurate, it would be hard to call either of those incidents sexual harassment.
For his part, Tyson says he welcomes the investigation and looks forward to proving that while his behavior may have creeped out these ladies, he is not guilty of sexual misconduct.
Either way, we’ll have to wait until we see all the facts to make a judgment on this one.