Neil Gaiman has been accused of sexual assault

In a four-part podcast produced by British outlet Tortoise Media, two women have accused Neil Gaiman of sexually assaulting them. The complaints span two decades and involve Scarlett, 23, and K, then 18, who both say that the American Gods and The Sandman author violated their boundaries to engage in “rough and degrading sex” with them while they were in otherwise consensual relationships with him.

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Scarlett alleges that Gaiman assaulted her within hours of their meeting in his New Zealand residence in February 2022, when she was hired as a nanny for his child. The two apparently shared a bath where, according to Gaiman, they only “cuddled” and “made out” with consent. A three-week relationship followed in which Gaiman claims that the two “only ever engaged in consensual digital penetration,” the words of the Tortoise report. Scarlett, however, alleges that Gaiman “engaged in rough and degrading penetrative sexual acts with her” during this time. In their report, Tortoise cites text messages and conversations with friends of Scarlett’s that support her allegations.

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The second woman, known as K, says she was 18 in 2003, when she met Gaiman at a book signing in Sarasota, Florida. They allegedly began a relationship when K was 20 and Gaiman was in his mid-40s. She alleges that during their relationship, she submitted to painful sex that “she neither wanted nor enjoyed.” In one incident, she claims that Gaiman penetrated her despite her asking him not to, as she was suffering from a painful infection at the time.

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According to Tortoise, Gaiman “strongly denies any allegations of non-consensual sex with the women” and notes that “New Zealand police did not take up his offer of assistance” over Scarlett’s 2022 complaint, which, he says, “reflects its lack of substance.” He also apparently believes that Scarlett was suffering from a condition associated with false memories at the time of their relationship, a claim which, the outlet notes, “is not supported by her medical records and medical history.”

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Gaiman also denies any unlawful behavior in regards to K, and is apparently “disturbed by her allegations.” Tortoise writes that he “believes K’s allegations are motivated by her regret over their relationship.” Reps for Gaiman did not immediately respond to The A.V. Club’s request for comment on this story.

If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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