Neil Gaiman accused of sexual assault by two women
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Neil Gaiman accused of sexual assault by two women

Comic book creator, author, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman has been accused of sexual assault by two women, with an official complaint having been made to the authorities.

The allegations are separated by decades, with one of the women first encountering Gaiman when she was employed as the nanny for his children. Known only as Scarlett, the 23-year-old alleged The Sandman creator sexually assaulted her within hours of their first meeting at his New Zealand home in February 2022.

Gaiman maintains that while they “cuddled” and “made out” in the bath, it was consensual. The pair would then engage in a three-week sexual relationship that was entirely consensual. However, Scarlett alleged that there were “rough and degrading penetrative sexual acts” which were non-consensual on her part.

Tortoise Media – who revealed the accusations in a podcast – claims to have seen “contemporaneous messages, notes, and spoken to friends who Scarlett talked to at the time” which support her allegations that her interactions with Gaiman weren’t always carried out with her consent.

The second woman was 18 years old when she met Gaiman at a Florida book signing in 2003, and began a romantic relationship with him two years later. She alleges that she “submitted to rough and painful sex that she neither wanted nor enjoyed” with a man more than two decades her senior, whereas Gaiman denies unlawful behaviour and says he’s “disturbed” by the accusations against him.

The writer strongly denies any wrongdoing and pointed to the New Zealand police declining his offer of assistance with the complaint made in 2022, which he believes is reflective of a lack of substance. That said, the authorities have made “a number of attempts to speak to key people as part of this investigation and those efforts remain ongoing,” and there are “a number of factors to take into consideration with this case including location of all parties.”

According to the initial report, Gaiman believes the allegations made by the Florida woman are driven by her regret over the way their short-lived relationship ended, while Scarlett was “suffering from a condition associated with false memories” at the time of their entanglement, but it’s noted those claims are not supported or substantiated by either her medical records or medical history.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.