Thursday 4 July 2024

Neil Gaiman accused of sexual assault by two women

Fantasy author, editor and screenwriter Neil Gaiman has been accused of sexual assault with two women, one of whom was his employee at the time, as well as a fan. The accusations stem from 2005 and 2022, with the latter incident taking place in New Zealand, where the police have been notified. Gaiman has strongly denied any wrongdoing, claiming relations were consensual and the police have declined his offer to assist in their enquiry.

The Tortoise Media website published an article on the allegations and also released a four-part podcast on the matter yesterday. They reiterate at all times that Gaiman has denied any allegation of wrongdoing.

The later incident stems from February 2022, when Gaiman was 61, that he performed non-consensual acts with a newly-employed nanny, who was 21 at the time, at his residence in New Zealand. Gaiman claims the relationship was consensual and lasted three weeks. The Tortoise alleges to have seen text messages and correspondence suggesting the relationship lasted longer than this and overstepped boundaries. Gaiman has indicated that he was in contact with New Zealand police over the matter and they had declined his offer of an interview, although the New Zealand police have suggested their investigation has been hampered by Gaiman having mostly relocated to the UK and US since the alleged incident.

The earlier incident took place in 2005 when a 20-year-old fan began a relationship with Gaiman, who was 44 at the time, and she claims that he overstepped the boundaries for intimacy in the relationship that she had outlined.

Gaiman has made no direct public comment on the claims so far, only what was quoted in the Tortoise article.

Gaiman is one of the highest-profile living fantasy authors, noted for his Sandman graphic novel series and novels including American Gods, Coraline and Stardust, along with his collaboration with the late Sir Terry Pratchett, Good Omens (all adapted for the screen). Gaiman has been more active in screen work recently, overseeing both a Sandman adaptation for Netflix (currently in post-production on its second season) and an adaptation of Good Omens for Amazon (currently working on its third season). With well north of 40 million books sold, he is frequently cited as a one of the most popular modern fantasy authors and has a substantial fanbase, as well as championing various progressive causes.

So far, there has been no comment on the allegations from any of Gaiman's production partners on the status of these projects.

Gaiman was in an open relationship and later marriage with musician Amanda Palmer from 2009 to 2020, with whom he has a son. He has three children from an earlier relationship. Gaiman courted controversy in 2020 when he flew from New Zealand to Scotland during the COVID pandemic, breaking lockdown rules. He later apologised.

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