In the second season of the psychological thriller “You,” which was released in December, D’Elia played a successful comedian who grooms and rapes young women, some underage. Last week, the “literal IRONY” of this casting led a woman on Twitter to share screen shots of emails she said D’Elia sent her in 2014, when she was 16 years old and he was 34. The messages show D’Elia requesting a photo of her that July and, the following January, asking whether they can make out when they meet up.
The Twitter account @SheRatesDogs, which has more than 500,000 followers, amplified the thread last Tuesday by quote-tweeting it with a story of D’Elia allegedly exposing himself to a hotel worker in early 2018. The account continued to reply with nearly two dozen accounts of women saying D’Elia had harassed them when they were teenagers or in their early 20s, soliciting nude images or physical intimacy.
D’Elia, whose representatives have not responded to The Washington Post’s request for comment, told TMZ on Wednesday that he has “said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point.” (In some of the tweeted stories and screen shots, D’Elia’s accusers said he knew how old they were at the time.)
“All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me,” he continued. “That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better.”
In addition to “You,” D’Elia filmed three Netflix stand-up specials released in April 2015, June 2017 and April 2020, all of which remain on the platform. He previously played central characters on the NBC sitcoms “Undateable,” which aired for three seasons beginning in 2014, and “Whitney,” which began in 2011 and lasted two seasons. Series creator Whitney Cummings, whose character dates D’Elia’s, tweeted a statement Saturday saying she was “devastated and enraged by what I’ve read and learned.”
“This is a pattern of predatory behavior. This abuse of power is enabled by silence. Now that I’m aware, I won’t be silent,” she wrote. “Girls should be able to be a fan of a comedian they admire without becoming a sexual target. It’s the adult’s responsibility to be an adult.”