A former student is accusing famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson of raping her when they both attended the University of Texas in Austin.
Tchiya Amet, a self-described “musician, healer, and teacher” was studying Galactic Astronomy in the graduate program when she met Tyson. She said she hoped to become the first black female astronaut.
In a blog post in 2014, Amet claimed Tyson drugged and raped her in his apartment.
The scandal surrounding disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has renewed interest in Amet’s 3 year old blog post.
Amet said she was a regular visitor to Tyson’s apartment, but one visit altered her life. She recalls blacking out after Tyson offered her a drink.
He offered me a glass of water. I accepted a liquid in a cup made out of a coconut shell. I recall coming back to consciousness briefly, then next thing I remember is seeing him in the hallway the next day. I have lived in this nightmare for 30 years, and it stops today.
I know this will be difficult for many of you to believe, understand or to know. However, know that this is the truth. Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I lived with undiagnosed PTSD of [at] least 25 years.
She said the sexual assault is the reason she didn’t complete her studies at the university.
She also accused Tyson of offering students passing grades if they gave him oral sex.
“He talks about obstacles to reaching his goal of astrophysicist. Did anyone slip him a mickey? Perhaps this was his way of eliminating the competition… what a scam YOU are Mr. Tyson,” she wrote.
Hontas Farmer, of Science 2.0, called out the double standard, saying Amet’s original post was met with “deafening silence.”
“This sounds just like what Bill Cosby was accused of and his accusers are more or less uniformly believed in the popular press and by the general public,” says Farmer.
She added that Tyson’s tactics were “something young men did way too often. My mother still reminds me to watch my drink when I go out with anyone.”