A fourth accuser has come forward to Buzzfeed News claiming she was harassed by Neil deGrasse Tyson at a party in 2010. The woman isn’t named in the story but Buzzfeed was able to find evidence she had told numerous people about the incident at the time:
In January 2010, she recalled, she joined her then-boyfriend at a holiday party for employees of the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson, its most famous employee, drunkenly approached her, she said, making sexual jokes and propositioning her to join him alone in his office. In a 2014 email shared with BuzzFeed News, she described the incident to her own employer in order to shoot down a proposed collaboration with Tyson…
The fourth woman, the one who said that he came on to her at a museum holiday party in 2010, told two friends about what happened shortly after that night, they both confirmed to BuzzFeed News. She wrote about it to her own employer four years later, she said, because they were considering inviting him to speak at an engagement.
Tyson’s star power is completely tied to his reputation as a truth-teller, she added. “We take his word at face value,” she said. “I think he’s exploiting that relationship to get people to believe him.”
Buzzfeed’s story also contains more detail about some of the other allegations against Tyson. For instance, Ashley Watson, who worked as an assistant to Tyson, explains how Tyson passed her a note saying he wanted to speak to her before inviting her up to his apartment for wine and cheese.
Shortly before the three-month Santa Fe shoot was set to end, Tyson passed Watson a handwritten note that said, “Can we talk later tonight?” She was hopeful because she thought he was finally going to offer her a job with the crew on the second leg of the shoot, in Europe.
Late that night on their drive, she asked him what his note was about. Tyson asked if she wanted to share a bottle of wine with him inside his apartment to “unwind for a couple of hours.” Watson responded that she had to pick him up before sunrise, but agreed to come up for a glass of wine, hoping for the job offer.
Once upstairs, Watson said, Tyson took off his shirt so he was only wearing a white undershirt, poured her a glass of wine, and put on some Nina Simone. He repeated the lyric “Do I make you quiver,” noting how much he loved that line. He assembled a cheese plate, sat down across from her, and talked about his need for emotional, spiritual, and physical releases. He asked her if she required releases too.
Tyson, in his response to the allegations, didn’t deny inviting Watson up for wine but glossed over the sexual lyrics and the talk about physical releases saying it was “in the same vein as all other conversations we ever had.” Clearly, Watson didn’t feel the conversation was similar to all the others because the next day she reported his behavior to her supervisor and then quit. Then she confronted Tyson in his office. Once again, Buzzfeed was able to confirm Watson’s account with other people who worked with her at the time:
Four people, three of whom were also on the crew for Cosmos, told BuzzFeed News that Watson spoke to them about what happened in the months after she left. Texts and emails corroborated three of their accounts.
There’s a lot more in the Buzzfeed story including a lengthy section about Tchiya Amet, the woman who claims Tyson raped her in graduate school. Tyson had claimed in his response that he was “intimate” with her a few times but that the relationship lacked chemistry. Amet says they were friends but denies that she had any consensual, “intimate” relationship with Tyson before or after the incident when (she claims) he drugged her with a glass of water and sexually assaulted her while she was mostly unconscious.
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