At the end of October, Ariane Bellamar publicly accused Jeremy Piven of sexual assault in her #MeToo story. And that wasn't the end.
Since then, two more women have come forward and named the former Entourage star, accusing him of sexual misconduct. Video resurfaced of a fourth woman with her own horror story to tell about Piven.
A lot of the men accused are apologizing or claiming to be "seeking help." Jeremy Piven is denying it -- and offering to take a lie-detector test.
Actress Ariane Bellamar shared her accusations, that Piven had forcibly groped her on the set of Entourage and at the Playboy Mansion, in a series of tweets.
"Jeremy Piven, on two occasions, cornered me & forcefully fondled my breasts & bum."
She was very direct about it.
"Hey @jeremypiven! ‘Member when you cornered me in your trailer on the #Entourage set? ‘Member grabbing my boobies on [the couch] without asking??"
Since then, as we said, two more women came forward.
One of these women told People that Piven had charmed her when they first met, but that when she'd come by to pick him up for another outing, he had allegedly pinned her down and rubbed his bare genitals on her clothed body until he ejaculated on her white turtleneck.
She says that she fled when he let her up, and that she cried in the car.
People was able to corroborate part of her story with someone who saw her just afterwards.
Well, Jeremy Piven is denying everything in a statement on Twitter.
"Let me begin by saying that the accusations against me are absolutely false and completely fabricated. I would never force myself on a woman. Period."
It is his word against that of three women -- so far, each of whom have nothing to gain by making these accusations.
"I have offered to take a polygraph to support my innocence."
Polygraphs are not reliable sources of anything.
For one thing, sometimes people genuinely believe things about their personal histories that are untrue. They rewrite their own lives.
For another, polygraphs aren't allowed in courtrooms as evidence because they're not reliable. An anxious person might fail one when telling the truth. A calm person might pass when lying.
You might as well use a ouija board.
Jeremy's denial continues:
"I keep asking myself, 'How does one prove something didn't happen?'"
"What I am not able to do is speculate as to the motivations of these women."
Again, speaking up invites criticisms and the potential for lawsuits. There are no benefits to sharing your #MeToo story, except for the hope of justice.
It's conceivable that someone could lie (false accusations of rape are very rare, but they do happen), maybe seeking fame or something. But the odds of at least three women all deciding to fabricate stories against the same man?
That's hard to swallow.
"As a human being I feel compassion for the victims of such acts, but I am perplexed as to the misdirection of anger with false accusations against me and do not detract from the stories that should be heard."
Honestly, that's exactly what a man who's been falsely accused might say. It's also literally exactly what a justly accused man might say to look innocent.
"We seem to be entering dark times -- allegations are being printed as fact and lives are being put in jeopardy without a hearing, due process, or evidence."
Guys, "innocent until proven guilty" is a tenet of our legal system to avoid imprisoning people. It's not a rule for the "court" of public opinion.
"I hope we can give people the benefit of the doubt before we rush to judgment."
"Continuing to tear each other down and destroy careers based on mere allegations is not productive on any level."
Odd that he says "mere allegations." Does he expect women to literally always wear a mic or hidden cameras in the hopes of capturing evidence in case they're sexually assaulted?
One woman -- or three -- giving testimony is evidence. There's nothing "mere" or insignificant about that.
"I hope we can use this moment to begin a constructive dialogue on these issues, which are real and need to be addressed."
There are circumstances in which sexual misconduct could be chalked up to misreading a situation -- leaning in for a kiss at the wrong time, or a case of mistaken identity.
Cornering women to grope them, or dry-humping a woman while pinning her down, don't sound like plausible cases of miscommunication. They sound like sexual assaults.
We'd admit to being sort of interested in the results that Piven might get from his proposed polygraph, but ... let's not open that can of worms and junk science.