Chris D'Elia, who faced allegations of sexually harassing underaged girls over the summer, has broken his silence after going dark on social media months ago.
The comedian posted a YouTube video for the first time in eight months on Friday, Feb. 19, and titled it, "It's been awhile." (He also hasn't posted on his Instagram or Twitter feeds since June.)
In the nearly 10-minute video, he admitted sex "controlled my life" and explained he's been on a path to recovery for several months to learn more about himself and his self-described "problem." He said that during his "time away," he sought out medical advice and therapy, spent time with his family and tried to "take a long hard look at myself."
"What I have come to understand is this was always about sex to me," D'Elia said. "It was my focus all the time... And I had a problem. And I do have a problem."
He recounted that "having sex got a lot easier" for him after he rose to fame in the comedy space. The 40 year old continued, "I felt lucky. I felt like, ‘Oh wow, I don't need to work as hard. I can just do a show and then have sex.' Or roll into a city and look at my inbox and then just start writing. And I did. I wrote, you've seen some of the messages online, there's way more than that. I would get at least 50 messages after a show each city a night, and I would reply to all of them."
Back in June, he was accused of grooming teenage girls. One accuser, Simone Rossi, alleged on Twitter that the comedian messaged her "Can we make out?" when she was 16 years old. Another anonymous person came forward to claim, "Chris D'Elia did a similar thing to me. I was 19 so not underage but he messaged me on Twitter asking if I'd talk to him more privately and personally and then offered to fly me to LA to hook up."
Over the summer, D'Elia denied wrongdoing in a statement sent to TMZ, reading in part, "All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual... I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That's MY fault."
Then in September, D'Elia denied new allegations of sexual misconduct. At the time, CNN reported that three women alleged the comedian had "exposed himself to them on separate occasions without their consent."
In a statement to E! News, D'Elia's attorney, Andrew Brettler said, "D'Elia denies these allegations and emphatically states that he has never engaged in any sexual conduct with any woman without her consent."
In his new video, the former Whitney star reiterated his relationships were consensual and legal.
He claimed that he has realized in recent months that he was "treating sex like it's casual and being flippant with people," which has made him feel "shameful." He added, "And that's not the guy I want to be. It's not okay and I'm sorry for that."
D'Elia went on to describe how his celebrity played a part in his behavior. "I would use the familiarities that I had with these women to have sex. I was like, 'They already know me.' I didn't have to do the extra work," he shared. "It's something that just became life controlling. I would think about it all the time."
His sex habits soon became a "lifestyle" that he didn't know "how to stop." At the time, he would have denied he had an issue, saying, "I didn't even think I had a problem… I thought that guys in my position were lucky enough and fortunate enough."
The actor confessed that it damaged relationships that were important in his life, seemingly referencing his rumored romance with Kristin Taylor, who reportedly had his first child. (The animator's Instagram bio says she's mom to Cal).
He didn't mention Kristin or Cal by name, but said, "I cheated on most of the girls I've been with. I've cheated on my fiancée now, and this is my dream girl. This is the girl that I want to be with for the rest of my life and even that wouldn't stop what I was doing."
Now that he is a father, he wants to be a "role model" for his son.
D'Elia explained, "I was headed for this. And this needed to happen because I wouldn't have stopped cheating."
"I can't go back and I can't fix that part of me, that hole in me, that was trying to be filled with that, the loneliness on the road or the fear that I felt or the insecurity," The Good Doctor alum added toward the end of his video. "And it was out of control. So I have a chance here to apologize to the people that got caught up in the s--t and the lies that I would tell."
As for how he's feeling now, he concluded with, "I'm doing well... It's the hardest thing ever."