Aziz Ansari make a rare public appearance on Monday, stepping out with fellow comedian Chris Rock and rapper 2 Chainz to watch the New York Knicks take on the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden.
The Master of None star, 35, has kept a low profile since a sexual misconduct allegation was made against him four months ago.
He and Rock were photographed together sitting courtside at the game, which the Cavaliers won 123-109.
2 Chainz (née Tauheed Epps) was next to them, sharing video of their time together to Instagram.
In January, an anonymous woman accused Ansari of sexual behavior that she classified as assault but he called consensual in a controversial article published on Babe.net that sparked a public conversation regarding the nuances of the #MeToo movement.
The woman, a 23-year-old Brooklyn photographer, recounted her allegations under the pseudonym “Grace.” She alleged that after meeting Ansari at an Emmy Awards afterparty in September 2017, they exchanged numbers and eventually went on a date, which she called “the worst of life.” After a meal, she said they returned to his apartment, where she alleged that Ansari behaved coercively and that several sexual acts occurred though she was “physically giving off cues that wasn’t interested.”
Grace said she decided to come forward after she saw Ansari wearing a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globe Awards, where he won best comedy actor in a TV series.
In response, Ansari issued a statement acknowledging they went on a date and ended up engaging in sexual activity afterwards, which he said “by all indications was completely consensual.”
“The next day, I got a text from her saying that although ‘it may have seemed okay,’ upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable,” he continued. “It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”
“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture,” he added. “It is necessary and long overdue.”
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Grace’s account of her encounter with Ansari previously sparked significant backlash, with some dismissing the incident as a bad date that should have remained private. Others, however, have applauded the piece for launching a debate over the pervasive power imbalances between men and women.
In March, Ansari’s former Parks and Rec costar Adam Scott gave an update on his friend.
“I’ll say this: Aziz is doing great. He’s a great, lovely guy,” the Big Little Lies star told Vulture in an interview.
Scott, who portrayed Ben Wyatt, and Ansari, who played Tom Haverford, starred alongside Amy Poehler on the NBC comedy together from 2010-2015.