Last week, comedian Beth Stelling bravely shared her story about being raped and abused by an ex-boyfriend. Although she kept her ex’s name out of the powerful post, her current boyfriend revealed the name of the scum. Cale Hartmann immediately deleted his social media pages, but the damage was done.
On his newly instated Facebook page, Hartmann came to his own defense with a lengthy post denying the accusations.
Read the full post below.
“Much of my career in comedy has been centered around the Internet. I understand and appreciate the value of “viral.” Until December 28th, I would have wanted nothing more than for my name and to whatever it was attached to be blindly and rapidly passed around to as many people as possible. Now I have experienced the worst of that realm of possibility. It is unfortunate that today it’s becoming more and more the norm for an accusation to be taken as fact and the sentence carried out immediately by the anonymous public.
I was incredibly hurt to see my ex-girlfriend had made public accusations across all of her social media platforms that tell a story so far beyond the truth. The severity of her accusations are false and extremely harmful. I’m not sure she realizes the irreparable harm of her actions.
Everyone condemning me on social media must have some evidence beyond her word – they must know me in a way that I don’t know myself – they must know her personally and be 100% certain to “out” my name despite a single word from me. They have no such proof, no such certainty, no such reason for using my name. My career and life do not deserve to be taken away without some basic level of due process just because of an allegation on the Internet. She is being praised and lauded to no end while people take joy in destroying me as the new villain of the week. How would that make you feel?
To insinuate that my temporary “break” from social media was anything other than me trying to protect myself and my family while I assessed the situation the best I could is ludicrous. It has been characterized as a guilt plea – it is not. Just try for two seconds to imagine waking up to see you have been accused of the worst crime imaginable. You have no idea how terrifying that is, especially when the personal threats start rolling in. I did not delete any of my social media platforms. I temporarily disabled them until I could find a way to tell my family the situation before they learned of it for themselves. And there have been far more pressing matters on hand the last 48 hours than turning them all back on. I have nothing to hide and now that I have been able to take the time to respond, here I am.
I fell in love with Beth and will continue to treat her with the utmost respect. I understand how nearly impossible it will be for you to believe me. And I have been on the other side of this many times and just assumed the accused party was guilty because Facebook told me so. The only thing keeping me sane and rational is that I know the truth. And to the friends who have reached out to let me know they are here and that everything will be okay, despite it being an overwhelmingly unpopular opinion, thank you. You have no idea what it means to me to see your name and read your words and I will be reaching out as soon as I can.”
The post has very few likes, but lots of backlash for the comic and writer in the comments.
In her initial Instagram post, Stelling mentioned that one of Hartmann’s exes came to her with a similar experience. That woman, comedian Courtney Pauroso, spoke out about getting raped by Hartmann in an episode of her own podcast, We Should Have a Podcast.
Seems guilty to us.