Posted on 07/02/2018 at 08:52 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Author Junot Diaz, in a new interview, has denied the allegations of inappropriate behavior made against him earlier this year; his accusers have responded with skepticism.

The Pulitzer Prize winner told The Boston Globe that he was distressed, confused, and panicked by the accusations.

He also stepped back from the statement he issued when the claims first surfaced, in which he said he took responsibility for his past, telling the Globe:

I’ve written a lot of crap in my life. One does when one’s a writer. But, definitely, that statement is the worst thing I’ve written, the worst thing I’ve put my name to. Boy, I wish I’d had the presence of mind to rewrite the damn thing.

Author Zinzi Clemmons said Diaz forcibly kissed her several years ago, and other female writers including Monica Byrne reported times when Diaz verbally attacked them back in May.

Following Diaz's Globe interview, Clemmons criticized one of the reporters, calling her "unprofessional and clearly biased" on Twitter.

Another accuser, Alisa Rivera, tweeted after the interview that "I'm learning that justice is a process, not an event."

Back in May, Diaz stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board, which was to undertake a review of the claims, and withdrew from the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Several editors at The Boston Review resigned over the magazine’s continued association with him, while MIT cleared him to return to teach this fall.

Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Scandal

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