June 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Sherman Alexie Breaks Silence on Sexual Harassment Allegations

Another prominent name in children’s publishing has issued an apology as the result of of sexual harassment allegations against him and mounting public pressure for a response.

Sherman Alexie released a statement, in which the the National Book Award winner, bestselling author, and revered voice in the Native American community admitted to some charges while denying others.

“Over the years, I have done things that have harmed other people, including those I love most deeply,” Alexie wrote in the statement. “To those whom I have hurt, I genuinely apologize. I am so sorry.”

While his statement is an admission of some claims, he said he has “no recollection” of threatening anyone or their careers, calling that “out of character.”

Most of the accusations against Alexie have been anonymous, beginning in the comment section of SLJ‘s January story Children’s Publishing Reckons with Sexual Harassment in Its Ranks. Author Litsa Dremousis, however, put her name to the charges and Alexie fired back at her, saying he rejects her “accusations, insinuations and outright falsehoods.”

She responded on her Facebook page:

“Hi, all.

Sherman Alexie has finally issued a statement four months after I confronted him about his sexual harassment of women:

“There are women telling the truth about my behavior…Over the years, I have done things that have harmed other people, including those I love most deeply. To those whom I have hurt, I genuinely apologize. I am so sorry.” (Read the rest online.)

As for the rest of the story, some is accurate. Some is not. Part of his statement about me 100% false. I’ve never written on his wife’s Facebook page. I don’t even know if she has a Facebook page.

The affair? I told my friends and family at the time. I told any media outlet where I’m quoted at length about the affair b/c I knew he’d use it to discredit me. I’ve been contacted by 43 media outlets. I put a huge chunk of my private life out there of my own volition b/c I wanted him to stop harming women.

I knew he’d use a consensual affair which ended w/ us staying good friends as a way to discredit dozens of women *who consented to nothing*.

Each media outlet thanked me for being so candid.

When I confronted him four months ago, he didn’t reply. Instead, he immediately took down contact information for all of his agents and his assistant from his web site. Shortly thereafter, he took down his Facebook fan page.

Four days after I confronted him, he canceled his upcoming season w/ Seattle Arts and Lectures.

Nine days after I confronted him, he resigned from IAIA.

A man I confronted four months ago about his sexual harassment of women finally issued a statement wherein he doesn’t deny it.

That’s all I’ll say I’ll for now.”

Extra Helping header

This article was featured in our free Extra Helping enewsletter.
Subscribe today to have more articles like this delivered to you twice a week.



  1. thana edwards says:

    I don’t believe for one second these women! Either they want money or to be in the spotlight. Carry on Sherman…we love you.

    • thana edwards, he actually admitted that “some” of the women’s statements are true. you still don’t believe them?

  2. Claire Weaver says:

    The only exposure I had to Sherman Alexie’s Work that I had was the movie, “Smoke Signals”, until his memoir, “You don’t have to Say You Love Me”. I found it to be searing, and fascinating. He is both self deprecating and arrogant, while revealing both himself and his family relationships in that book. I then began to read some of his other work. I stopped because I found his depictions of women and sex to be brutalizing and misogynistic, I suppose, as a result of his relationship with his mother. It is mystifying that any woman who has read his work would be surprised by his behavior in real life. Much like Louis CK, he revealed himself through his work, many times.

  3. Dan Hotchkins says:

    I only have their words to go on; what they said, and what they left unsaid. Mr. Alexie, in his statement, did not deny being sexually inappropriate with this woman and/or other women, and his apology letter about his being sorry for having “harmed people” (my paraphrase) is worryingly vague, especially in light of the accusations against him.

    My thought? Mr. Alexie owes it to the public to be more forthcoming about what he’s apologizing for. If he does not, I personally take these allegations as seriously as I took the ones against Donald Trump and against Roy Moore. Mr. Alexie has some explaining to do, and I think it’d be to his benefit that he do so sooner rather than later.

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind