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As soon as she saw his name, Katherine Fiore Tigerman broke out in a cold sweat. Her shirt damp, she scrolled through the text messages from her best friend alerting her that comedian Chris D’Elia was being accused of sexual misconduct by scores of women on Twitter. She’d never watched the comic’s stand-up. She just knew that he was the best friend of Bryan Callen, a fellow comedian and actor. And Callen, she’d long told those closest to her, had once raped her.

Lightheaded, she logged onto Twitter to scan the allegations. She found that many of the tweets referred not just to D’Elia’s supposed misconduct but to that of his tight circle of male comedians.

“My first thought was: ‘Is something going to happen with Bryan?’” Tigerman recalled. “Reading all the comments, I thought: Here it comes. I’ve known how terrible this person is for 20 years. And maybe I’m not the only one.”

In a statement to The Times, Callen adamantly denied raping Tigerman and said that their encounter was consensual.

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