Updated Friday, May 4, 2018, 4:12 p.m. EDT: Junot Díaz has responded to the allegations from several female writers who came forward Friday with accusations of sexual misconduct and verbal abuse. Author Zinzi Clemmons actually confronted Díaz on Friday in Australia during a literature panel about the incident she alleged happened. And in a statement to the New York Times reported by BuzzFeed, Díaz said: “I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath.”
So, as many people assumed, Díaz penned his New Yorker essay to ward off some of the damage.
Last month, acclaimed author Junot Díaz penned an essay for the New Yorker that chronicled the sexual abuse he was subjected to as a child. Many praised the Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao author for being brave enough to come forward and discuss his past. But on Friday morning, Díaz became a trending topic on Twitter after women took to social media with accusations of sexual misconduct and verbal abuse that they allegedly experienced at the hands of Díaz.
Zinzi Clemmons, the author of What We Lose, was the first to tweet about an incident with Díaz that she says occurred when she was a grad student.
Shortly after, Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, explained the misogynistic behavior that she says he subjected her to:
In a similar incident, author Monica Byrnes recalled the rage and verbal abuse that Díaz allegedly inflicted on her at a dinner:
Some questioned whether Díaz’s New Yorker essay was a pre-emptive strike or diversion against allegations that might surface. Either way, a lot of Díaz’s writing is known for his harsh point of view when it comes to women and relationships, so a lot of these allegations aren’t shocking to many.
The Root has reached out to Díaz’s rep for a comment.