Sherman Alexie, a prominent author in the Pacific Northwest, issued an apology Wednesday amid anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Over the years, I have done things that have harmed other people, including those I love most deeply,” Alexie said in a statement released late Wednesday. “To those whom I have hurt, I genuinely apologize. I am so sorry.”
Allegations against Alexie have been vague, appearing to have first shown up publicly in anonymous comments in a January School Library Journal post about sexual harassment in the children’s book industry. The article did not mention Alexie, but the comments thread had at least five anonymous accusations, including: “Sherman Alexie. #Me too.”
Alexie, who wrote “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” has authored more than two dozen books often drawing on experiences growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington.
The Seattle Times reported Alexie’s response in which he did not address any specific complaints but did say he has “no recollection of physically or verbally threatening anybody or their careers.”
On Feb. 23, author Litsa Dremousis tweeted she’d known about the allegations against Sherman Alexie for months.
“By my count, there are now over 20 women who are accusing him of harassment,” she wrote.
Dremousis and Alexie have acknowledged that they were in a sexual relationship while he was married.
The online uproar has resulted in fallout in the literary and Native American communities. On Monday, the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, posted that it had “received several recent inquiries about Sherman Alexie’s relationship with the IAIA MFA program” and that its Sherman Alexie Scholarship has been renamed the MFA Alumni Scholarship.
On Wednesday, a spokeswoman with the American Library Association, which awarded Alexie the Carnegie Medal, said in response to a newspaper query that they were evaluating next steps.