Following the claims of Tchiya Amet and two others, there’s now a fourth woman who’s lodged a public complaint about Tyson’s allegedly inappropriate advances towards her – in this case at a holiday party that she attended with her boyfriend back in 2010 at the American Museum of Natural History.
According to this woman’s version of events, Tyson “drunkenly propositioned” her, which included making “sexual jokes” and petitioning her to join him alone in his office – to which she says she refused.
In 2014, this same woman shared an email with BuzzFeed News, which first broke the story on this string of sexual assault claims, revealing what she says took place. The woman released this email after having been recently invited to do a collaboration with Tyson, which she turned down because of this alleged incident.
Tchiya Amet says her experience with Tyson was more than a proposition, and included rape
This fourth woman’s allegations largely align with the three previous ones, including Amet’s. But in Amet’s case, Tyson’s advances led to more than just inappropriate gestures and propositions.
Based on information gathered by BuzzFeed News, Amet says Tyson invited her over to his apartment and proceeded to trick her into drinking a beverage that contained date rape drugs. He then allegedly sexually assaulted her while she was “out of it,” and unaware of what was actually taking place.
“He gave her a drink in a cup that looked like a coconut shell, she said, which she thought was water,” reads a 2014 email published by BuzzFeed.
“The next thing Amet remembers is waking up naked in Tyson’s bed, seeing him naked, performing oral sex on her. When he realized she had woken up, she said, he began to penetrate her. The rest of her memory of the day is fragmented.”
Amet says she experienced a type of shock upon realizing what was happening, stating:
“I came out of it for a moment and shook my head, and then I went out again. The next thing I knew, I was at class the next day.”
Read the rest of the accusation details in the original BuzzFeed News report.
Amet’s now-husband says he’s known that “something bad” happened between her and Tyson since 1986
When BuzzFeed reached out to Amet’s therapist at the University of Texas at Austin where she attended college with Tyson, the therapist declined to comment. Amet’s now-husband, however, explained that he’s known since the day he first met Amet back in 1986 that “something bad” had occurred between her and Tyson.
Amet’s husband says the topic “came up many times throughout their marriage,” though he doesn’t recall Amet specifically using the word “rape” until relatively recently. Even so, Amet has always been clear that she was “drugged by Tyson,” and has “vaguely alluded to something traumatic,” her husband says.
“It actually was a sore subject,” Amet’s husband told BuzzFeed. “It bled onto our relationship. It caused emotional problems for her.”
Amet’s therapist advised her to drop out of school and pursue another life path
Before any of this occurred, Amet was reportedly a friend of Tyson’s, as they both lived in the same apartment building. She had long dreamed of becoming the first black astronaut, and Tyson was a welcomed friend to her in achieving this goal, as he not only helped her find her apartment, but also gave her a campus tour prior to her enrollment.
While all of this was happening, one of Amet’s best friends was also murdered, which created even more turmoil her life. She was petitioned to testify at the trial which, along with her claims of being raped, was simply too much for her to bear.
Amet’s therapist ultimately advised her to drop out of the program, which obviously caused some of her classmates and friends to take notice. But almost none of them who offered comments more recently say they knew anything about an alleged “rape.”
At the same time, none of them were really told anything back at the time, especially since the topic of rape was mostly kept under wraps. Not long after, Tyson himself dropped out of the program before joining a Ph.D. program at Columbia University.
Tyson posted lengthy denial letter to Facebook, blames Amet’s “New Age healing techniques” for thinking she was raped
Roughly four years after Amet went public with her claims, Tyson finally responded to them in a public Facebook post. Naturally, he denied that any such claims are true, while simultaneously claiming that he had, in fact, been “intimate” with Amet on several occasions.
“I do not remember any time being intimate,” Amet stated in refutation of Tyson’s claims that the two had engaged in intimate behavior at her apartment “a few times.”
“That simply is not true.”
Still, Tyson says that Amet is exaggerating what actually took place, and that he didn’t take advantage of her. He even went so far as to blame her “New Age healing techniques” – Tyson hates all forms of religion, by the way – for somehow instilling this “false memory” in her brain.
But BuzzFeed claims to have done due diligence in corroborating Amet and the other women’s claims.
“Over the course of nearly three years, BuzzFeed News has spoken with more than 30 people for this story, including the alleged victims and their families, Cosmos crew members, and graduate students and professors who were at UT Austin 30 years ago,” BuzzFeed writer Azeen Ghorayshi revealed about the depth of inquiry that went into this investigation.
“Dozens more from that time did not reply to requests for interviews.”
All of the women have since refuted at least some aspects of Tyson’s statement of innocence. Amet in particular had hoped that her story would not only blow the lid on who she says Tyson actually is, but also provide some level of closure to her own trauma.
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