Actor Bryan Callen spoke out to his fans in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. The 53-year-old TV star, best known for his role as Coach Mellor on the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs and its spinoff, Schooled, shared a video message to fans on his Instagram page two days after his former best friend accused him of rape.
In the message, which can be viewed below, Callen told his followers that he will not “lay low” and will instead defend himself publicly as he faces damning accusations from four women, including Katherine Fiore Tigerman, a longtime friend who accused him of raping her in 1999 in a newly published Los Angeles Times expose.
In the video, Callen called the #MeToo movement important, but blasted today’s “cancel culture” and the fact that anyone can make false claims about someone and that person is “guilty until proven innocent.”
“I have been characterized as someone that no one, no one who knows me — not my friends, not my family, not my fans — would ever recognize. And that’s because that is not who I am. That is not something I could do — those are not things that I would ever do. “
While Callen claimed he was given advice to “post a statement and disappear,” he said he believes the way to defend himself is face to face as social media and the press, which act as “judge, jury, and executioner.”
“When something like this happens, this is pretty much the only way you can defend yourself,” he said. “So this is me standing up and saying that I have been falsely accused of terrible things that I did not do.”
In the comments section of the post, several followers told Callen that despite his impassioned words, he needs to lawyer up. Others offered the actor support as they questioned the 21-year gap between the alleged incident and the accuser’s statement.
Callen had been married to Amanda Humphrey since 2008, but she filed for divorce earlier this year, per TMZ.
In a previous Twitter post, Callen staunchly denied the rape accusations. The sitcom star vowed to address the “horrific and false” claims against him in a special edition of his podcast, The Fighter and The Kid, but then later announced that he will be taking leave of absence from the show. He also will not return for the upcoming eighth season of The Goldbergs, per Variety.
The allegations against Callen came one week after Netflix scrapped plans for an unscripted prank show that was going to feature the actor and his pal Chris D’Elia in the wake of sexual misconduct accusations against D’Elia.