"You give your friends the benefit of the doubt: I tried to think about it in terms of, I've had friends who have had compulsions and have done things - gambling or drinking or drugs - and we've lost some of them", Stewart said Tuesday. I think it's gotten better over the years, but certainly when we started 30 years ago, it was really hard.
"So you feel anger at what he did to people", Stewart said.
Stewart went on to say that "comedy on its best day is not a great environment for women" and even though it's gotten better in recent years, it is still a tough field for women. "All I can tell you is I've worked with Louis for 30 years, he's a wonderful person, and I've never heard anything about this, and we all knew Bill Cosby was a prick for a long time".
Stewart says he has not spoken with C.K. since the The New York Times published a report on November 9 in which five women accused C.K. of sexual misconduct, including asking all of the women if he could masturbate in front of them. Comedians Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov said C.K. did masturbate in front of them in his hotel room in Aspen, Colorado during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He laughed off the question and answered, "So the Internet said Louis harassed women? I'm not that connected to that world".
Stewart continued, saying "I do apologize". I don't want to make this "Louis was the only one of in the business".
Watch Stewart's response in the video below.
"My first response was, what?" he said.
In the report, multiple women alleged sexual misconduct against the comedian, allegations that Louis C.K. later confirmed were true. "And then, joke joke, and as he kept going I was like, "Look, I know this is very serious, but I know Louie, he's always been a gentleman to me" - which again, speaks to the blindness that I think a man has, which is like, 'Hey, he's a good guy, what are you talking about?'"
"No, I haven't", he replied.
Comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was on the Today show Tuesday morning to help promote his charity comedy event Night of Too Many Stars. It features John Oliver, Olivia Munn, Robert DeNiro, Ben Stiller, Stephen Colbert and more.