In late December, comedian Beth Stelling alleged via Instagram that she had been raped and abused by her ex-boyfriend but refused to name him. The man in question, a comedian named Cale Hartmann, has since been identified.
Hartmann, who had, for a time, deactivated his social media accounts, has posted a response to his Facebook page.
“Until December 28th, I would have wanted nothing more than for my name and to whatever it was attached to be blindly and rapidly passed around to as many people as possible,” he wrote. “Now I have experienced the worst of that realm of possibility. It is unfortunate that today it’s becoming more and more the norm for an accusation to be taken as fact and the sentence carried out immediately by the anonymous public.”
The post continues:
I was incredibly hurt to see my ex-girlfriend had made public accusations across all of her social media platforms that tell a story so far beyond the truth. The severity of her accusations are false and extremely harmful. I’m not sure she realizes the irreparable harm of her actions.
Everyone condemning me on social media must have some evidence beyond her word—they must know me in a way that I don’t know myself—they must know her personally and be 100% certain to “out” my name despite a single word from me. They have no such proof, no such certainty, no such reason for using my name. My career and life do not deserve to be taken away without some basic level of due process just because of an allegation on the Internet. She is being praised and lauded to no end while people take joy in destroying me as the new villain of the week. How would that make you feel?
Read the rest of the post, which has 39 likes, here.
Stelling’s original post has earned her the support of an army of outraged comedians, with many of them taking to Twitter in solidarity.
In her initial Instagram post, Stelling notes that one of Hartmann’s ex-girlfriends had come to her with a similar story. That woman, another comedian named Courtney Pauroso, has since shared more about that story on her podcast.
“I want to back up Beth, who did a really scary thing, and I also want to tell my story,” Pauroso says, confessing that she was raped by Hartmann when she tried to break up with him in 2013.
Listen to the episode here:
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