Neil Gaiman, the bestselling author of The SandmanGood Omens, and American Gods, has been accused of sexual assault by two women, according to an investigation by Tortoise Media. The women, who were in their early 20s at the time of the alleged incidents, claimed that Gaiman subjected them to “rough and degrading sex” that was not always consensual.

The allegations span two decades and have sparked outrage and concern among fans and the public. Gaiman has strongly denied the allegations, refuting any claims of non-consensual sexual activity and expressing distress over the accusations.

Master: the allegations against Neil Gaiman | Tortoise Media podcast

The Allegations

The first accuser, 23-year-old Scarlett, worked as a nanny to Gaiman’s child in New Zealand. She alleged that Gaiman sexually assaulted her in February 2022, just hours after their first meeting. According to Scarlett, the assault took place in a bath at Gaiman’s residence. While Scarlett acknowledges that they had a three-week consensual relationship, she claims that Gaiman also engaged in non-consensual “rough and degrading penetrative sexual acts” during this time. She described one incident as “so painful and so violent” that she lost consciousness. “The pain was celestial,” she said, adding that when she asked him to stop, “he laughed and said I needed to be punished and used his belt on me.”

In support of her allegations, Scarlett provided contemporaneous messages, notes, and friends who she confided in at the time. These accounts corroborate her claims of non-consual sexual acts and the subsequent distress she experienced.

The second accuser, identified only as K., was 18 when she met Gaiman at a book signing in Sarasota, Florida, in 2003. Their paths crossed again when she was 20, and she alleges that they began a romantic relationship, despite the significant age gap, with Gaiman being in his mid-40s. K. claims that Gaiman subjected her to rough and painful sex that she “neither wanted nor enjoyed.” She recalls a particularly distressing incident where, despite her objections due to a painful urinary tract infection, Gaiman penetrated her, causing her to scream in agony.

Gaiman’s Response

Gaiman has vehemently denied the allegations, insisting that all his encounters with both women were consensual. Regarding Scarlett’s allegations, he told Tortoise Media that they only “cuddled” and “made out” in the bath and that their subsequent sexual relationship was limited to consensual digital penetration. He expressed concern over Scarlett’s accusations, stating that he is “disturbed” by her claims.

Gaiman also denied any unlawful behavior with K. and was similarly disturbed by her allegations. He suggested that K.’s accusations may stem from her regret over their relationship. In response to Scarlett’s claims, Gaiman asserted that she was suffering from a medical condition associated with false memories at the time, a claim that Tortoise Media noted is not supported by Scarlett’s medical records and history.

Police Investigation

The incident involving Scarlett was reported to the New Zealand police in October 2022, and they have initiated an investigation. Gaiman offered to assist the police with their inquiries, but they declined his offer, stating that their investigative efforts are ongoing. The police told Tortoise Media that they have made multiple attempts to speak to key people as part of their investigation and that there are several factors to consider, including the location of all parties involved.

Public Reaction

The allegations against Gaiman have caused a stir among his fans and the general public, with many expressing shock and dismay. Gaiman, a celebrated author known for his influential works, has been hailed as “the most loved living writer” and has had his writing adapted for various media, including Netflix and Amazon mini-series, Hollywood films, and West End shows. His inclusion on Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people further underscores his impact.

As the investigation unfolds, the public awaits further developments, hoping for a thorough and impartial examination of the allegations. The case highlights the complex nature of consent and the challenges faced by alleged victims of sexual assault, especially when the alleged assailant is a well-known and influential figure.

Ongoing Impact

The accusations against Gaiman have sparked conversations about power dynamics, consent, and the potential abuse of power in relationships. With the allegations spanning two decades and involving young women who interacted with Gaiman as a fan and an employee, questions arise about the dynamics of consent and the potential for coercion or manipulation.

The case also underscores the underreporting of sexual assault, particularly when the alleged assailant is someone known to the victim. It sheds light on the complex psychological and social factors that can deter victims from coming forward, including fear of retaliation, self-blame, and concerns about not being believed.

As the #MeToo movement continues to shine a light on sexual misconduct and empower victims to speak out, the allegations against Gaiman serve as a stark reminder that no one is above scrutiny, regardless of their fame or influence.

Way Forward

With the police investigation ongoing, the truth behind the allegations remains to be determined. It is crucial that the investigative process is thorough, impartial, and sensitive to the experiences of the alleged victims. The case underscores the importance of consent and the need for clear and ongoing communication in sexual relationships.

As a society, we must continue to address the systemic issues that enable sexual misconduct and create a culture where victims feel empowered to speak out and seek justice. It is only through ongoing dialogue, education, and a commitment to accountability that we can foster a safer and more equitable future for all.

In the meantime, Gaiman’s legacy and reputation hang in the balance, with the outcome of the investigation poised to have a significant impact on his standing in the literary world and beyond.