Thursday, September 29, 2022

‘The Lovely Bones’ Author Apologizes to Black Man Falsely Accused in Her 1981 Rape Case

man exonerated in 1981 rape of Alice Sebold

*Alice Sebold, the New York Times best-selling author of “The Lovely Bones” has apologized to the Black man wrongly accused of raping her in the ‘80s when she was a student at Syracuse University. 

Here’s the backstory per ComplexAnthony Broadwater was recently exonerated in the 1981 rape case. Broadwater was found guilty of raping Sebold and served 16 years in prison, later getting out in 1998. Sebold was 18-years-old at the time of her assault and later based her 1999 memoir Lucky on the experience.

Sebold, a white woman, issued an apology to Broadwater in a statement posted to Medium.

“First, I want to say that I am truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through,” Sebold wrote. 

“I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will,” the statement continued. “Of the many things I wish for you, I hope most of all that you and your family will be granted the time and privacy to heal.”

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Sebold went on to write: “I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him,” she added in part.

“It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened,” Sebold wrote. “I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr. Broadwater did.”

In an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Broadwater said he was “relieved and grateful” for Sebold’s apology.

“It took a lot of courage, and I guess she’s brave and weathering through the storm like I am,” he said. “To make that statement, it’s a strong thing for her to do, understanding that she was a victim and I was a victim too.”

After his release from prison, Broadwater remained on the state’s sex offender registry for more than two decades. He was cleared of all charges on Nov. 22. 

“I’ve been crying tears of joy and relief the last couple of days,” Broadwater told The Associated Press on Nov. 23. “I’m so elated, the cold can’t even keep me cold.”

Netflix was planning a film adaptation of “Lucky,” but after Broadwater’s exoneration, the project has been axed, Variety reports.  

The film’s executive producer, Timothy Mucciante, paved the way for Broadwater exoneration, as the case was reexamined when Mucciante “began to question the story that the movie was based on earlier this year, after he noticed discrepancies between the memoir and the script,” according to the NYT.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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