You can add another name to the list of major Hollywood figures being accused of sexual assault or harassment: Jeremy Piven. The Entourage star was identified by one of his costars in that series as behaving nearly as bad as his onscreen character in the confines of his trailer. But this one isn’t following the same pattern as the other men being accused of such behavior in a couple of significant ways. (Vulture)

On Tuesday HBO issued a response to claims made earlier in the day by reality star Ariane Bellamar accusing Jeremy Piven of sexually harassing her on the Entourage set. “Today, via the press reports, is the first we are hearing about Ariane Bellamar’s allegations concerning Jeremy Piven,” the premium cable network wrote. “Everyone at HBO and our productions is aware that zero tolerance for sexual harassment is our policy. Anyone experiencing an unsafe working environment has several avenues for making complaints that we take very seriously.”

Piven issued his own denial of the Bellamar’s allegations. “I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me,” Piven wrote. “It did not happen. It takes a great deal of courage for victims to come forward with their histories, and my hope is that the allegations about me that didn’t happen, do not detract from stories that should be heard.”

So the basis for the charge is a series of tweets from actress Ariane Bellamar. Rather than going into the sordid details myself it’s probably best to let her make the case. The allegations cover two instances, with one happening on the Entourage set and the other at the Playboy Mansion.

So far it sounds like many of the other stories of unacceptable or criminal behavior but now we get to the key differences. First of all, at least thus far, Bellamar is the only one making such a claim rather than a flood of actresses talking about a “known” history of abusive behavior. Second, Piven is flatly denying it, going so far as to say that she’s hurting the cause of all the women who were actually attacked. (I emphasize the word “actually” because these are strictly allegations thus far.) Such a denial is markedly different from the previously accused individuals who immediately apologized, showed (or at least pretended to show) repentance, or took the even more unsavory route of saying they didn’t remember trying to rape any children but they’re really sorry if it did happen.

Now HBO is looking into the matter, as is CBS where Piven has a new series. But what are they to do and how is the rest of the industry going to react? Unless a lot more women come forward with their own stories, this is literally a he said, she (singular) said situation. We’ve quickly become accustomed to the pattern of immediately believing the accusations of the women coming forward because there’s such a mountain of evidence out there that Hollywood is chock full of creepy guys who regularly assault pretty young women. (Or in some cases, children.)

But here we have Jeremy Piven. Maybe he did what Bellamar said, but maybe he didn’t. If she’s the only one raising the charge and it supposedly took place in private so there would be no evidence, should Piven’s career be over? But what if she’s telling the truth and it just happened to be a one-off case where Piven was really attracted to her specifically? We simply can’t afford to take everything Bellamar says as gospel absent significantly more support establishing a pattern of behavior. Complicating the matter further is the fact that calling Bellamar one of Piven’s “costars” may be a bit of stretch because she doesn’t have an IMDB credit in either of Piven’s shows. Was she even there?

I don’t think this is going to be the last case of this sort that we see. And they’ll remain horribly complicated to sort out. This was a can of worms which was long overdue for opening, but that doesn’t make it any less messy.