Comedian James Veitch Accused of Rape and Sexual Misconduct by Several Former College Students

Comedian James Veitch Accused of Rape and Sexual Misconduct by Several Former College Students

British comedian James Veitch has been accused of rape by several women who claim the incidents took place between 2008-2010 when he was a graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College.

In new, wide-ranging interviews with the Hollywood Reporter, former Sarah Lawrence students alleged that Veitch, now 40, raped and sexual assaulted them while they attended the New York-based university. (A source close to Veitch told the outlet that the comedian denies all of the allegations.)

Meghan Klien, a postproduction supervisor in Los Angeles, told the outlet that after she saw Veitch beginning to rise to fame — including an appearance on Conan in 2017 and a new HBO Max comedy special — she began reaching out to her former classmates. Klien, with the help of fellow Sarah Lawrence alumna Jael Simonson-Tunick, got in contact with more than a dozen women who came forward with their stories.

Together, the women created a Facebook group to share their stories, followed by their in-depth interviews with THR.

“Our little network started bringing in stories left and right,” Simonson-Tunick told the outlet. “In just that first couple of days, I think I got three stories of rape and two of assault. What kept me going was my connection to these women — every woman that I talked to that first day I knew personally.”

Reps for Veitch have not responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Aston Hollins McClanahan claimed that in 2010, she fled Veitch's apartment when he attempted to rip her clothes off. Julia Tackett said she was raped anally by Veitch when she was 20 after the two had dinner together at his apartment in 2008. She said she consented to have sex with Veitch but did not consent to anal sex.

"I remember rushing to the bathroom: the dress was white, and I didn’t want the blood to stain it on the train ride home,” she told THR. The outlet reported that Tackett later saw Veitch “for a few joyless hookups,” to try to somehow correct the earlier incident.

Other former students that accused Veitch of sexual misconduct include Anna Thorn, Kristen Gull, Katie Bainbridge and Hannah, who asked that her last name be withheld.

Hannah said that while drunk at an end-of-semester party, she laid down on a mat, where Veitch tried to make another woman kiss her before feeding her wine.

"The next thing I knew, he was on top of me, having sex with me, without a condom. I tried to push him off but I was too drunk to do anything meaningful. He finished and I stumbled out of there," she told THR.

Per THR, none of the alleged victims reported Veitch the sexual misconduct claims to the college, although some said they believe that on-campus security was aware of his reputation.

In a statement to PEOPLE, spokespeople for HBO Max and Team Coco (which produced the comedy special), said: "We were deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations of unacceptable behavior by James Veitch and will be removing the special from our platform for now.".

Veitch is also slated to host a Quibi talk show that features celebrity guests. A rep for Quibi did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, but THR reports that he will be edited out of the show.

In their interviews with THR, the Sarah Lawrence alumni said felt compelled to come forward with their allegations against Veitch after realizing they weren't alone.

"I'm sure if I knew what I know now, I would have tried harder to make people listen about James," Simonson-Tunick said. "Post-pandemic, however, when I heard the news that this [alleged] serial rapist was achieving wider success, I had one thought: I don't have control over much in this world anymore, but I can control this. I can do something about this.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.

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