After a rape conviction was reversed, Alice Sebold’s publisher pulled her book.
Following the news that Anthony Broadwater has been absolved of the crime at the centre of Lucky, Scribner has decided to stop selling the book.
After a man was acquitted of the rape at the centre of Alice Sebold’s 1999 book Lucky, the publisher Scribner is withdrawing it off stores.
In 1982, Anthony Broadwater was found guilty of raping Sebold and sentenced to 16 years in prison. After a re-examination of the case, he was exonerated last week after substantial faults in his arrest and prosecution were discovered.
Sebold recounts how she was raped and beaten at the age of 18 in a tunnel near her university campus in her book Lucky, which was released in 1999. She describes seeing a Black guy on the street months later, whom she mistook for her assailant. Broadwater failed to identify him in an identification parade after his arrest, but she did identify him as her rapist on the witness stand. An expert’s microscopic hair analysis also linked him to the crime, however such data has subsequently been debunked.
On Tuesday, Sebold’s publisher, Scribner, announced that Lucky would be removed while Sebold worked on a revision. “Following Anthony Broadwater’s recent exoneration, and in consultation with the author, Scribner and Simon & Schuster will suspend distribution… while Sebold and Scribner evaluate how the book may be updated,” the publisher stated. Sebold’s UK publisher, Pan Macmillan, has announced that the title will be pulled as well.
Broadwater received an apology from Sebold, who said that her “objective in 1982 was justice – not to prolong wrong… And definitely not to change a young man’s life for the rest of his life by committing the same act that had changed mine.”
“I am relieved that Mr. Broadwater has finally been exonerated, but the truth remains that he was just another young Black guy brutalised by our broken court system 40 years ago.” In a statement, she stated, “I will always be sorry for what was done to him.” “It’s taken me eight days to understand how this could have occurred.” I’ll continue to grapple with the unintentional part I played in a system that incarcerated an innocent guy. I’ll also have to deal with the reality that my rapist will very definitely go unnoticed, may have gone on to rape other women, and will almost certainly never serve the same sentence as Mr Broadwater.”
“I’m relieved that she has apologised,” Broadwater stated in a statement to Entertainment Weekly sent via his attorneys. That must have taken a lot of guts for her to accomplish. It’s still a source of anguish for me since I was unfairly convicted, but this will aid me in coming to terms with what occurred.”