Ashley Watson, a former production assistant who worked on Tyson's television show Cosmos, says that Tyson invited her over for a "wine and cheese" nightcap at his home earlier in the summer, where he proceeded to come out "wearing an undershirt" in an attempt to set the mood. Tyson then allegedly starting making provocative conversation about how everyone needs a "release," asking Watson what hers was.
Upon trying to leave, Watson says Tyson asked her to perform a strange handshake he had learned from a Native American elder that involved "feeling a person's pulse and staring into their eyes." As he groped the young woman's hand, Neil Tyson then allegedly stated, "I want to hug you right now, but if I do I'll just want more."
"It felt very manipulative and strange," Watson told the media about Tyson's alleged behavior that evening back in May. "I felt like he was expressing that he wanted to have a sexual relationship with me," she added, referring to his creepy hug commentary.
As this and two other similar allegations began to circulate, Tyson attempted damage control by posting a lengthy response on his Facebook page, in which he admitted that the wine and cheese incident did occur. He not only admitted to being present, but he even corroborated the details about the handshake and hug, essentially admitting that they did occur.
"Practically everyone she knows on set gets a daily welcome-hug from her," Tyson tried to claim in his own defense. "She freely chose to come by for wine & cheese and I was delighted ... Production days are long," he added.
For someone so in love with "science," Tyson sure did feel compelled to connect with Watson's "vital spirit energy" by offering up his woo-woo Native American handshake, which he admits he's "never forgotten."
"You extend your thumb forward during the handshake to feel the other person's vital spirit energy ... and I save it in appreciation of people with whom I've developed new friendships," Tyson wrote on Facebook in his personal account of events as he says took place.
In other words, Tyson admits to having invited Watson over for wine and cheese, making creepy comments towards her, and trying to invade her "vital spirit energy" for his own kicks. But he's now trying to justify it all as just his quirky way of interacting with younger women.
Meanwhile, in responding to another allegation of actual rape, Tyson felt the need to mock the woman in question for believing in "vibrational therapeutic energy," which he of course decries as snake oil in comparison to his "superior" beliefs about science and the universe.
"For me, what was most significant, was that in this new life, long after dropping out of astrophysics graduate school, she was posting videos of colored tuning forks endowed with vibrational therapeutic energy that she channels from the orbiting planets," Tyson wrote, referring to a woman who says that Tyson drugged and raped her while the two were attending graduate school back in the 1980s.
"As a scientist, I found this odd," he added, in apparent attempt to gloss over these very serious charges against him by appealing to some kind of more rational authority, a.k.a. himself.
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