Author Junot Diaz has come forward to address sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced against him in May.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Diaz adamantly denies the accusations and says that when he heard of them he was “distressed”, “confused”, and “panicked”.
“I was shocked,” said The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao author. “I was, like, ‘Yo, this doesn’t sound like anything that’s in my life, anything that’s me.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist was accused by three women of past sexual misconduct and harassment. Author Zinzi Clemmons confronted him at the Sydney Writers Festival and later posted on Twitter that he forcibly kissed her several years ago.
Other women followed Clemmons’ lead. Alisa Rivera met with Diaz about cultural identity and claims that Diaz noted her light skin and sided with those who have bullied her. She said the meeting left her in tears. Writer Monica Byrne took to Twitter to accuse Diaz of “verbal sexual assault” at a dinner party in 2014.
Carmen Maria Machado, also an author, tweeted an alleged incident of “bullying and misogyny” by Díaz during a promotional event for his 2012 short story collection This is How You Lose Her. Machado said Diaz was angered when she asked about “his protagonist’s unhealthy, pathological relationship with women,” berating her in front of a group.