Astrophysicist and Cosmos star Neil deGrasse Tyson is under investigation by the show’s producers for sexual misconduct allegations. Deadline revealed that Fox and National Geographic are looking into reports from three women who claim that the scientist engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior toward them in three separate instances.
A year ago, musician Tchiya Amet accused Tyson of raping her when they were both graduate students. More recently, Dr. Katelyn N. Allers said that Tyson groped her at a party and Ashley Watson, Tyson’s former assistant, said she had to leave her position after the astrophysicist made repeated inappropriate sexual advances toward her.
Allers, who is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bucknell University, says that Tyson touched her inappropriately in 2009 at an after-party for an American Astronomical Society event.
Amet recently opened up about her experience with Tyson, saying that he drugged her and raped her while she was a student at the Galactic Astronomy program at the University of Texas, Austin. She said that she was on track to become an astronaut when the event forced her to drop out because she was suffering from PTSD.
“I didn’t tell anybody because when I had been an undergrad, I had some issues of molestation by a student and a faculty member, and when I went to report it to the authorities, they both told me not to say anything because it would ruin the person’s life,” she claims.
Cosmos producers said that they were taking the reports seriously and would be investigating the situation.
“The credo at the heart of Cosmos is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” the producers of the show told Deadline. “The producers of Cosmos can do no less in this situation. We are committed to a thorough investigation of this matter and to act accordingly as soon as it is concluded.”
National Geographic and Fox released a separate statement saying that they were not aware of the allegations against Neil deGrasse Tyson, but that they would be “reviewing” the reports as well.
“We have only just become aware of the recent allegations regarding Neil deGrasse Tyson,” Fox and Nat Geo said. “We take these matters very seriously and we are reviewing the recent reports.”
The second season of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a re-boot of the non-fiction space series starring Carl Sagan, is scheduled to begin airing in March. The series is produced by Cosmos Studios, Fuzzy Door Productions, and Santa Fe Studios.