“We would catch eyes every now and then.” They ran into each other one last time, right as Grace was leaving.
At Ansari’s suggestion, she put her number in his phone.
She approached him because she recognized his camera flash — Aziz Ansari was taking pictures at the 2017 Emmy Awards after-party with a film camera, not a digital one.
The day after the incident, she wrote a long text to Ansari, saying: “I just want to take this moment to make you aware of [your] behavior and how uneasy it made me.” To that message, Ansari responds: “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.” The mobile phone number from which his texts to her were sent matches up with his details on a searchable public register. When we met, Ansari had just won Best Actor for his Netflix show “Master Of None” at the Golden Globes, where he declared his support for the fight against sexual assault and harassment by wearing a “Time’s Up” pin on the red carpet.
Before meeting Ansari, Grace told friends and coworkers about the date and consulted her go-to group chat about what she should wear to fit the “cocktail chic” dress-code he gave her.
She settled on “a tank-top dress and jeans.” She showed me a picture, it was a good outfit.
After arriving at his apartment in Manhattan on Monday evening, they exchanged small talk and drank wine. “I didn’t get to choose and I prefer red, but it was white wine.” Then Ansari walked her to Grand Banks, an Oyster bar onboard a historic wooden schooner on the Hudson River just a few blocks away. They discussed NYU, comedy and a new, secret project he was working on, but she says she did most of the talking.
“I wasn’t really even thinking of that, I didn’t want to be engaged in that with him.