Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jessica Radtke speaks out on sexual misconduct accusations against comedian Jeff Ross

Illustration for article titled Jessica Radtke speaks out on sexual misconduct accusations against comedian Jeff Ross
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic (Getty Images)

Last year, a woman named Jessica Radtke began a public Facebook page titled Iwas15hewas33, in which she alleged, in detail, that comedian Jeff Ross had initiated a sexual relationship with her when she was 15 years old. This week, Vulture has run an in-depth interview with Radtke, including the details of how the alleged relationship began, the steps Ross went to to apparently hide it from the public, and the lasting damage it’s caused to her life. (For the record, Ross, a well-known comedian and Comedy Central regular, has denied all of Radtke’s allegations; he issued a statement on Twitter back in June, calling the accusation “false” and casting aspersions on Radtke’s character.)

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In the piece, Radtke asserts that she met Ross when she was 15, shortly after she moved with her father to New York and immersed herself in the city’s comedy scene. Vulture states that it spoke with seven sources that confirmed the existence of Radtke and Ross’ sexual relationship, including Radtke’s father, who reportedly approved of her having sex with the older man. (“At that point, she was basically living the life of an adult,” Ross Radtke said of his then-15-year-old daughter. “I really didn’t think much of it.”) Radtke, who says she and Ross stopped seeing each other when she was 22, states that she originally didn’t process the experiences as traumatic. “I wanted to normalize this in my fucking head,” she said.I thought I had stuffed it down deep enough and taken enough Klonopin, seen enough therapists, and smoked just enough medical marijuana to be okay. I thought, ‘Okay, I’m okay.’ I didn’t really know that it was that wordrapeuntil recently.”

In a Twitter post in June (posted shortly after similar accusations against comedian Chris D’Elia came to light), Ross denied the accusations, while stating that “Although this accusation is false, I want there to be no doubt of my commitment to victims of sexual assault.” In the same post, he said he “intends to take legal action” in regards to the accusations; Radtke has also said that she’s found a lawyer to represent her. (Per the Vulture piece, New York recently implemented an extension on the statute of limitations in child sex-abuse cases.)

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