- Posted by Johanna on May 2, 2006 at 12:30 pm
- Category: Comic News
Following up on the Journal coverage of gropegate, Newsarama posts Brownstein’s side of the story (link no longer available), including his apology.
I feigned to lift up her shirt. It was a stupid, drunken prank, of which I’m ashamed. It was something I’d never done before, nor anything I’d do since. I did not, at any point, grab, fondle, or expose her breast, nor was that ever my intention. I feel terrible for hurting Taki’s feelings. The following day, and on several occasions since, I apologized to Taki for my bad behavior. I also spoke with Ken at several points over the course of the weekend, to see if we could find a way to honorably set matters right. Unfortunately my sincere apologies have all been rejected. I continue to feel genuine regret that I hurt someone I regarded as a friend, and I hoped she would accept my repeated apology, but since that’s not the case, I want to end the speculation surrounding this incident, because it’s not fair to the industry or to the people this was being speculated about.
He also addresses the original claims of harassment and attempted blackmail, by pointing out that they don’t apply:
I have not done and would not do anything to besmirch nor harm Taki’s reputation or career in any manner. I’m the servant of a public trust who has never worked with Taki in any capacity, and am in no position to either offer or reject her work, nor am I in a position to otherwise influence anyone else in doing so. Nor would I, were I in such a position of influence.
It turns out that Soma’s witness claimed to be having an “affair” with her (his words, not mine), which might have influenced some of the decisions made. Colleen Doran [link no longer available] has more on the witness’ attitude, describing a meeting earlier this year in which he “expressed his regret that things had ‘gone so far’ and ‘gotten so out of hand’ with the reporting on the story, and that he hoped Ms. Soma would let it all go, but that he would ‘stand by her’.”
Already people are using this as an excuse to not donate to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which I think is the wrong decision. (I’m also tempted when someone says “I’m not giving them another penny until he’s fired!” to ask “and just how much did you give them last year?” Most boycotts in comics are attempted by those who rarely would be affected in the first place.) Whether or not you believe Soma or Brownstein or don’t care, the Fund’s mission is an important one that transcends any particular individual.