WASHINGTON (AP) – Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said Wednesday that it has refunded a $2,800 donation from Louis C.K., a comedian and writer whose career was derailed after five women accused him of sexual misconduct.
The comedian, whose real name is Louis Szekely, donated to Biden on March 4, according to Federal Election Commission records. The donation was made the day after the former vice president’s commanding win in more than a dozen Super Tuesday contests put him on the path to becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee to take on President Donald Trump.
A Biden campaign spokesman said the contribution has since been refunded, which will be reflected in his next report filed in May. The spokesman declined to comment further.
Szekely did not immediately respond to an email on Wednesday requesting comment, and a publicist who once represented him also did not immediately respond to a message.
The New York Times in 2017 published an investigation in which five women, four of whom spoke on the record, detailed misconduct by the comedian in the late 1990s and in the 2000s. Some of the women said he abruptly began masturbating in front of them. One said he requested to do so, but she refused his request. Another said she could tell he was masturbating while speaking on the phone with her.
Szekely later said that their stories were true and that he was â€œremorsefulâ€ of his actions, but the fallout was swift. FX Networks quickly dumped him from shows he was part of, Netflix scrapped plans for a stand-up special and the release of his feature film â€œI Love You, Daddyâ€ was shelved. HBO also removed his work from its on-demand video streaming service.
Presidential campaigns typically vet who donates to their campaigns and often return contributions from figures who could pose a problem.