Nobody believed Neil deGrasse Tyson's 1st accuser. Now there are three more.

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https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aze...four-women

EXCERPT: Ashley Watson was ecstatic, earlier this year, when she got the job to be Neil deGrasse Tyson's driver. She wanted to be a Hollywood producer, and thought this gig with his hit TV show, Cosmos — even if she was just shuttling him to and from the set — could help her make useful industry connections.

[...] On Thursday, Watson’s allegations [...of sexual misconduct...] were made public on a blog called Patheos, which had previously published [Tchiya] Amet’s claims, twice. The new story also described a third woman, Katelyn Allers, an astronomy and physics professor at Bucknell University, who said Tyson had grabbed her and reached down the front of her dress to look at her tattoo at a scientific meeting in 2009.

With three women now making allegations on the record, the Patheos article spread far and wide, prompting Fox Broadcasting Company, which produces the show, and National Geographic, which airs it, to announce an official investigation. A spokesperson for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where Tyson has led the Hayden Planetarium for over 20 years, said that it has never received a complaint about him, but was also looking into the allegations. On Saturday, Tyson released a 1,600-word statement on Facebook, confirming many of the details of Watson’s and Allers’ allegations, and apologizing for what he deemed clumsy displays of affection that had been misunderstood.

He also responded to Amet’s rape allegations, his only public acknowledgment of the claims in the four years since Amet first blogged about them. He said they had been friends in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, and had been “intimate” on a few occasions. But he denied raping her. Noting her “odd” interests in New Age healing, he suggested she had a “false memory.” (Watson, Allers, and Amet have disputed much of Tyson’s statement. Tyson declined multiple requests to comment on this story.)

Now a fourth woman has told BuzzFeed News her experience of sexual harassment from Tyson. 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.

Over the course of nearly three years, BuzzFeed News has spoken with more than 30 people for this story, including the alleged victims and their families, "Cosmos" crew members, and graduate students and professors who were at UT Austin 30 years ago. Dozens more from that time did not reply to requests for interviews.

Most of the people interviewed lamented the prospect that damaging allegations might take down the world’s most famous living scientist — and perhaps the most famous black scientist in history — beloved for eviscerating so many of the stereotypes of the stuffy, out-of-touch academic.

But for Watson and Allers, the tragedy was the loss of a different black scientist: Amet.

For years, Amet had been trying to make the world listen to her account of a powerful man who had once assaulted her and derailed her life. Mainstream publications, including BuzzFeed News, were unable to adequately corroborate the events from so long ago, and did not publish her allegations. And internet commenters assailed her character and New Age lifestyle. Her claims may have stayed buried forever, if not for the women who saw in Amet’s story a shadow of their own.

“I saw that her credibility was being questioned in a way that honestly had a lot of racist and sexist and anti-religious undertones,” Allers said. “I kinda figured if I had any credibility to lend to that so that she’s taken more seriously, I should do that.”

MORE: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aze...four-women
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