American actor Chris Noth has been accused of sexually assaulting two women in separate encounters that took place in 2004 and 2015, according to a report on Thursday.
The women’s identities were withheld by The Hollywood Reporter in order to protect their privacy, said the trade publication, which used pseudonyms for them instead.
Noth, 67, who starred in Sex and the City and appears briefly in its newly released sequel And Just Like That… said in a statement to the Reporter that the encounters were consensual.
“The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false. These stories could’ve been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross,” Noth said in a statement to the Reporter.
“It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women,” he said.
Noth’s publicist did not respond to a request for further comment. A call to an attorney listed as representing him was not immediately returned.
The two women reached out independently and months apart to the Hollywood Reporter, the publication said. One, with the pseudonym Zoe, said the revival of Noth’s Sex and the City character, a man-about-town nicknamed Mr Big, “set something off in me” and prompted her to go public with “who he is,” she told the Reporter.
She asked her name be withheld because she works in the entertainment industry and feared repercussions if she were identified.
Noth’s character dies in the opening episode of And Just Like That… after suffering a heart attack following an intense workout on a Peloton bike. The bike-maker poked fun at the attention the episode generated with an ad featuring Noth, but the spot was pulled on Thursday after the Reporter’s story was posted.
At media requests, the Los Angeles Police Department checked into whether there was an open investigation involving Noth and found none, police sergeant Hector Guzman said. The special victims bureau of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also has no open investigation, sheriff’s Captain Richard Ruiz said.
Zoe, now 40, alleges she was assaulted in Noth’s Los Angeles apartment in 2004, when she was 22. She’d met Noth because he did business with the firm where she was employed, the paper said.
A friend told the Reporter that she took Zoe to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where she told staff she’d been assaulted and was treated for an injury. The friend, who’s not identified in the story, said police were called but Zoe declined to name her assailant to them.
Her then-boss, who was not identified, said that Zoe told her of the attack later that day but asked to keep it private, according to the story. In January 2006, Zoe sought counseling at a rape crisis center, which the centre confirmed to the Reporter while keeping details private.
The other woman, called Lily, now 31 and a journalist, said she met Noth in 2015 when she was 25 and working as a server in the VIP section of a now-closed New York nightclub. She recounted crying and feeling “violated” when Noth abruptly initiated sex.
According to a friend, identified by the Reporter as Alex, a distraught Lily called her and said that Noth has “pretty forcibly” had sex with her in his apartment. Alex said she declined her advice to call police.
Lily told the publication she didn’t remember the call.
In texts said to have been exchanged by Noth and Lily and reviewed by the Reporter, Noth allegedly referred to “our night last week,” calling it “a lot of fun” and adding, “I wasn’t quite sure how you felt.”
In her reply, according to the paper, Lily said she “certainly enjoyed” his company but “I did feel slightly used.” She said she put off his further attempts to meet.
The allegations prompted a blunt online post from actor Zoe Lister-Jones, who worked with Noth when he starred on a Law & Order series and she was a guest star.
“Last week, my friend asked me how I felt about Mr. Big’s death on And Just Like That, and I said, honestly, I felt relieved,” she wrote. “He asked why and I told him it was because I couldn’t separate the actor from the man, and the man is a sexual predator.”
Lister-Jones recalled how, during one take, he leaned in to sniff her neck and said, ”‘You smell good.’”