Accusations that D'Elia, 40, has engaged in inappropriate messaging with underage teenage girls flooded social media on Tuesday after Twitter user Simone Rossi accused him of "grooming" her when she was 16.
"imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age and the only reason you never met up and never got physically (molested) was because u had just gotten a boyfriend ur own age," she tweeted under the username @girlpowertbh. "for the longest time i thought this was just a funny story to tell at parties when i realized what happened isn’t normal and that he was and could still be doing this to younger girls and it’s my job to say something"
In a statement to USA TODAY, D'Elia responded to the accusations, saying that all of his relationships have been legal and consensual.
“I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point," he said. "I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me."
He continued: "That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better.”
i still can’t believe netflix cast chris d’elia as the pedophile in season to of “you” like the literal IRONY
— simoné (@girlpowertbh) June 16, 2020
In her Twitter thread, Rossi shared screenshots of alleged email exchanges between her and D'Elia from 2014 and 2015. In one of the alleged exchanges, the comedian asks if he and Rossi can "make out." She says he also asked her for a photo.
Rossi also called out Netflix for casting D'Elia in Season 2 of "You," in which he played a comedian who sexually preys on underage girls. D'Elia's character was killed off later in the season and will not appear in Season 3.
"(expletive) you @chrisdelia and also @netflix," she added. "i highly doubt casting this creep as a pedophile was a coincidence. at least i got to see him fake die."
When contacted by USA TODAY, a spokesperson for Netflix did not have a comment. USA TODAY has reached out to Rossi as well as representatives for D'Elia for further comment.
More allegations from unverified Twitter accounts accused the comedian of inviting teenage girls to meet up with him after his shows and asking them to send photos of themselves.
"although i’ve been publicly saying it for years, (expletive) Chris D’elia," wrote @michaelacoletta. "he solicited nudes off of me when i was 17 years old and constantly messaged me whenever he was touring vancouver and asked me to come backstage to his shows."
User @badhandjob accused the comedian of soliciting naked photographs from minors in Vancouver and trying to have sex with her 16-year-old friend.
"and when i called u out on twitter you told her you’d ruin her life if i didn’t delete it," she added. "absolute pedophile scumbag"
Rossi later tweeted that D'Elia "does not deserve a platform of any kind."
"i told you i wasn’t the only one," she wrote. " remove his stand up shows from streaming sites. stop booking him for shows. stop ingesting his god awful 'jokes.'"
D'Elia, the son of TV director and "Judging Amy" co-creator Bill D'Elia, was married to actress Emily Montague from 2006 to 2010. His first major break was on the NBC comedy "Whitney" opposite Whitney Cummings, which ran from 2011 to 2013. D'Elia announced the birth of his first child in February 2020.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Netflix comedian Chris D'Elia denies sexual misconduct allegations