"Can you love someone who did bad things?" the comedian says of her close friend of 25 years.
"I'm going to address the elephant masturbating in the room," she joked, referring to the confirmed allegations that C.K. masturbated in front of four different women without their consent.
At times struggling to find the words, Silverman said the recent wave of sexual assault stories from the entertainment industry "has been a long time coming."
"It's good. It's like cutting out tumors. It's messy and it's complicated and it is going to hurt, but it's necessary, and we’ll all be healthier for it," she said. "And it sucks, and some of our heroes will be taken down, and we will discover bad things about people we like, or in some cases, people we love."
Silverman told her audience that she'd been asked to comment many times since the story broke last Thursday. "In full honestly, I really really don't want to. I wish I could sit this one out. But then I remembered something I said on this very show, that if it's mentionable, it's manageable."
She continued, "One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louis C. K., masturbated in front of women. He wielded his power with women in f-cked up ways, sometimes to the point where they left comedy entirely. I could couch this with heartwarming stories of our friendship and what a great dad he is — but that's totally irrelevant, isn't it? Yes, it is.
"It's a real mind f-ck, you know, because I love Louis. But Louis did these things. Both of those statements are true, so I just keep asking myself, 'Can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them?'"
The comedian was quick to say that she could process these conflicting emotions later, because the victims were the only people who mattered right now.
"They are victims, and they're victims because of something he did. So I hope it's okay if I am at once very angry for the women he wronged and the culture that enabled it, and also sad, because he's my friend."