Comedy Central’s “RoastMaster General" and North Jersey native Jeff Ross has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
Born in Springfield Township and raised in Newark and Union, Ross is known for hosting insult-themed comedy roasts of celebrities including Bob Saget, Donald Trump, James Franco, Justin Bieber and Rob Lowe.
In a public Facebook page named “Iwas15hewas33,” 15-year-old Jessica Radtke describes her alleged relationship with Ross, which began when the teen worked as an under-the-table receptionist and hostess at the Boston Comedy Club in New York City in 1999, Vulture reports.
Radtke's Facebook post was published in October 2019, but it only recently attracted public attention.
Radtke recalled meeting Ross, then 33, outside the club and getting a call from him a few days later — the night after she and her father watched the comedian appear on the David Letterman show.
Ross received her number from Gina Savage, her manager at the comedy club, Radtke said in the post.
Radtke said her father, Ross Radtke, talked to Ross on the phone and gave the two permission to go out.
“[Jeff] asked my Father’s permission for me to come to the city that night to meet him for dinner,” she writes in the post from October 2019. “My Dad replied: ‘Any guy who was just on Letterman can go out with my daughter, no problem.’”
“I was incredibly embarrassed, but not surprised that my Dad would pimp me out to Jeff, as my Father had dated underage girls before and knew some of them were ‘smarter’ than some consenting adult women. I apparently classified as one of those girls.”
Radtke — who initially wrote about her alleged relationship for a nonfiction creative writing class in 2005 — said the two later had sex in Ross’s apartment where he acknowledged her underage status.
“He kept saying how much he couldn’t believe that he was hooking up with an underage girl,” Radtke wrote. “He told me I was too irresistible and I gave him an option that he couldn’t refuse.”
Radtke, who admits she didn’t realize the full extent of Ross’s problematic behavior at the time, says the two had an on-again-off-again relationship for about three years.
Radtke says she and Ross separated by January 2002 “due to arguing and infidelity on his part.” But she’s still coming to terms with the lasting effects of his behavior.
“I seriously do not want any predator to ever get away with stuff like this,” Radtke, now 36, wrote in an updated Facebook post.
“In this [nonfiction creative writing] paper I downplay the abuse and NEVER mention rape. I’ve not said that word until this past year or so. I did not want to admit I had been defeated, wrong and raped in my sleep when I refused to sleep with him while awake. I also am not ‘thankful’ as mentioned in the end of this piece. I am f****** traumatized.”
Radtke says she still has nightmares about Ross and seeks to hold him accountable for “the horror [she] endured as a child” — as well as her father, Gina Savage, and Ross’s talent manager, Barry Katz.
In a June 22 statement on Twitter, Ross adamantly denied having a sexual relationship with any minor.
“I believe this is a mental health issue — and I support people when they are hurting,” wrote the comedian, now 54.
“But let me be clear, these disgusting allegations asserted against me are absolutely not true. I have never engaged in any sexual relationship with a minor.”
Ross's attorney, Bryan Freedman, provided Vulture a blanket denial of the allegations.
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