Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson caught in #MeToo web

Last Updated 10 December 2018, 11:50 IST

'Innocent until proved guilty' is what the law usually says but allegations in the #MeToo movement always raise questions since many of the incidents cannot be proved or taken to court.

And the spotlight is now on famed US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by four women.

Tchiya Amet was the first to come forward. In a 2014 blog post, she says Tyson drugged and raped her while they were grad students in the astrophysics program at the University of Texas in the 1980s. Amet says it caused her to drop out of graduate school.

This month, two more women accused Tyson of sexual misconduct.

Ashley Watson, Tyson's former assistant on the hit show 'Cosmos', alleged that the astrophysicist told her, “I want to hug you so bad right now, but I know that if I do, I’ll just want more” after he invited her to his apartment.

Dr Katelyn N. Allers, a Bucknell University associate professor of Physics and Astronomy, says that she was "felt up" by Tyson at an American Astronomical Society convention in 2009.

A fourth unnamed woman recently claimed that Tyson made sexual jokes and invited her to his office at a 2010 staff holiday party. She also shared an email with BuzzFeed News in which she reported the incident to her employer and refused to collaborate with Tyson on a project.

Tyson has responded to the allegations in a Facebook post titled ‘On Being Accused’ in which he says that certain aspects of the incidents never occurred and that his intentions were different from those that have been disclosed. About Tchiya Amet’s rape accusation, he says that their encounters were consensual and the relationship then faded due to lack of chemistry.

Read the Facebook post, ‘On being accused’:

Fox and the National Geographic channel, which were scheduled to host Tyson’s documentary series 'Cosmos' in 2019, have announced that they are investigating the reports. The producers of the show are also separately investigating the allegations.

(Published 10 December 2018, 11:46 IST)

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