Neil deGrasse Tyson Accused of Sexual Assault, Misconduct

Three women have come forward to accuse astrophysicist and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct, including rape.
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Three women have come forward to accuse astrophysicist and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct, including rape.

Tchiya Amet told David Gee at Patheos that Tyson drugged and raped her in 1984. “Until the alleged incident,” Patheos reports, she “says she was on track to becoming the world’s first black female astronaut. But afterward, she dropped out of the program, suffered from PTSD, and sought therapy repeatedly.”

“She told me she was at his apartment when he offered her water, and the next thing she remembered was waking up to an assault.”

Gee says he has been able to verify that both Amet and Tyson did attend the same school at the same time. She also claims to have a photo of Tyson from that time.

Gee adds, without naming Tyson, “Amet has talked about the alleged encounter publicly since 2010” [emphasis original throughout].

Since this November 8 report, two additional women have come forward to accuse Tyson of misconduct.

David McAfee of Patheos reports that “Dr. Katelyn N. Allers, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bucknell University, told me that she was ‘felt up’ by Tyson at an after-party following a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in 2009.”

Allers also has two photos of them together at the event where the misconduct allegedly took place. She says after “we had taken the picture, he noticed my tattoo and kind of grabbed me to look at it, and was really obsessed about whether I had Pluto on this tattoo or not… and then he looked for Pluto, and followed the tattoo into my dress.”

Allers said this all happened in front of people and did not rise to the level of assault. She said it was “creepy behavior” that made her “uncomfortable.” McAfee was able to confirm Allers had told others that the alleged incident made her uncomfortable.

Allers came forward, she said, to support Amet. “I think that he is someone that could use his position of fame and power in a way to try and take advantage,” she said.

Tyson’s third accuser, Ashley Watson, worked as an assistant to Tyson and told Patheos “she was forced to quit her job due to his inappropriate sexual advances.”

“Watson worked directly with Tyson for several months. She says that, during that time, he put her in an uncomfortable situation by attempting to persuade her into sex, and demonstrated his ‘predatory tendencies.’”

Watsons says she worked “directly under Tyson” and that they “got along well.”

“That all changed, however, when he invited his underling to his apartment at around 10:30 P.M. to ‘share a bottle of wine’ and ‘unwind for a couple of hours.'”

Watson told Patheos “she felt pressured to impress her superstar boss” and “agreed to come in.”

Once they entered the apartment, she says, “Tyson allegedly took off his shoes and shirt, remaining in a tank top undershirt. Unfortunately, the night only got more awkward as Tyson, who is married, reportedly put on romantic music and replayed the most graphic parts.”

This and a joke about “stabbing” with a knife being used to slice cheese “set the stage for a night filled with subtle intimidation and sexual advances.”

Watson says she soon quit her job, but not before reporting the incident to a supervisor and to a “relevant harassment hotline.”

Tyson has not commented on the allegations, but the producers of the show he hosts, Cosmos, said they are investigating all three allegations.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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