Tonight, Nina Shapiro and Brendan Kiley at the Seattle Times published the most comprehensive coverage of the accusations swirling around Seattle author Sherman Alexie to date, including a statement from Alexie.
Over the last few weeks, a number of literary figures have leveled unsettling charges against Seattle author Sherman Alexie on social media. Seattle author Litsa Dremousis has tweeted that "Dozens of women" have approached her with stories of Alexie "sexually harassing them, making unwanted advances, cornering them in rooms, &/or explicitly threatening to end their literary careers if they told anyone."
Dremousis and other writers have claimed that reporters from nearly a dozen news organizations including the Guardian, NPR, and the New York Times are actively working on this story. Publishers Weekly author John Maher, who published a good piece on the story surrounding the accusations today, tweeted that he's been working on the story "since October" but that "No one will go on record-they are terrified of potential consequences."
In his statement, Alexie says that he has "done things that have harmed other people, including those I love most deeply. To those whom I have hurt, I genuinely apologize. I am so sorry." Then he pivots to a repudiation of "the accusations, insinuations, and outright falsehoods" allegedly made by Dremousis, citing her failure to disclose an affair with Alexie.
Dremousis has confirmed that relationship to the Times, but refutes its influence on her claims. She points out that…
…she and NPR have been working together to interview women on the record. "We've recorded five or six already," she said. "Once the NPR story is out, it nullifies everything."
The SRoB has published Alexie and sponsored events with him. We're horrified by these allegations and take them very, very seriously. The best way we can contribute to the discussion in this moment is by not adding to the deluge of commentary until we have more information. Right now, excellent journalists are hard at work distinguishing the signal from the noise; we want to let them do their jobs with as little distraction as possible.
If you have any information about this story, we recommend you contact Shapiro and Kiley at the Times: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, or 206-464-2507. We'll continue to monitor the story and share what we know in the coming days.