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US Publisher pauses new Philip Roth biography as author, Blake Bailey, is accused of rape and grooming

01:20  23 april  2021
01:20  23 april  2021 Source:   salon.com

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Publisher halts shipments of Philip Roth biography exposing his misogyny and sexual depravity after its author Blake Bailey is accused of raping two women and grooming middle-school students when he was a teacher. Blake Bailey , 57, published the only authorized biography of Roth on April 6. Several more women, who were students of Bailey 's when he taught in New Orleans, told The Times-Picayune that they too had sexually inappropriate encounters with the celebrated writer. Bailey was accused of grooming students as young as 12 and 13 years old while working at Lusher High

The publisher of a new , bestselling biography about Philip Roth has temporarily halted the book’s shipping and promotion as its author , Blake Bailey , faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. “These allegations are serious. In light of them, we have decided to pause the shipping and American writer and biographer Blake Bailey , pictured in 2013, has been accused by multiple people of sexual misconduct. Bailey ’s book, released in early April, was among the most anticipated and heaviliy promoted literary biographies in recent years and has appeared on the bestseller list of

Blake Bailey wearing glasses © Provided by Salon Blake Bailey

American writer and biographer Blake Bailey Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

On Wednesday, W.W. Norton & Company announced that it had temporarily halted the shipping and promotion of a new, best-selling Philip Roth biography as its author, Blake Bailey, faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse from women, some of whom were once his middle and high school students.

"These allegations are serious," the publishing house told the Associated Press. "In light of them, we have decided to pause the shipping and promotion of 'Philip Roth: The Biography' pending any further information that may emerge."

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A highly-anticipated biography of Philip Roth has been pulled by the publishers after two women accused the Pulitzer-nominated author of rape , and three. Several more women, who were students of Bailey ’s when he taught in New Orleans, told The Times-Picayune that they too had sexually inappropriate encounters with the celebrated writer. Bailey was accused of grooming students as young as 12 and 13 years old while working at Lusher High School in New Orleans, offering to ‘mentor’ them as writers.

Publisher pauses promotion of Blake Bailey ’s best-selling Philip Roth biography over sexual assault claims. The writer lost his literary agent and the support of his publisher in less than a week following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and assault dating back to his days as a New Orleans middle school teacher in the mid-to-late 1990s. At least three women accused Bailey of grooming them when they were students in his eighth-grade English class and then exploiting that relationship for sex after they became young adults, and two women have accused him of rape .

A day later, Bailey's U.K. publisher, Vintage, which is part of Penguin Random House, confirmed that it would continue to publish the book for now, though, as they told the Guardian, they are "assessing the situation closely."

"These are extremely serious and concerning allegations made against Blake Bailey," they said. "At this stage, they are allegations, and we continue to publish 'Philip Roth: The Biography.'"

In the 1990s, Bailey — who has since enjoyed success as a celebrated biographer — taught 8th grade English at New Orleans' Lusher Middle School. As The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate reported on Tuesday, three of his former students described sexual encounters with him in interviews, "with one accusing him of rape, after he spent years staying in contact with them under the guise of mentorship. A fourth said she fled from a bar meet-up during her freshman year in college when he slid his hand up her thigh following a series of suggestive remarks."

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NEW YORK (AP) — The publisher of a new , bestselling biography about Philip Roth has temporarily halted the book’s shipping and promotion as its author , Blake Bailey , faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. “These allegations are serious. In light of them, we have decided to pause Bailey , who has denied any wrongdoing, has already been dropped by his literary agency, the Story Factory. Bailey was an 8th grade English teacher at the Lusher Middle School in New Orleans in the 1990s and numerous former students have spoken out recently, alleging inappropriate and

Biographer Blake Bailey has been accused of sexual abuse and harassment by former students. NEW YORK (AP) — The publisher of a new , bestselling biography about Philip Roth has temporarily halted the book’s shipping and promotion as its author , Blake Bailey , faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. “These allegations are serious. In light of them, we have decided to pause the shipping and promotion of Philip Roth : The Biography pending any further information that may emerge,” said a statement provided Wednesday to the Associated Press by W.W. Norton

In a letter quoted by the LA Times, one of his former students, Eve Crawford Payton accused Bailey of raping her when she was 22.

"These stories have been whispered about for decades or shared over a glass of wine by former students, who all thought they were the only ones," she wrote. "His behavior was something of an open secret, and it absolutely followed a pattern and was textbook grooming, but no one ever said anything."

She continued: "To be fair, he never did anything then, not in 8th grade. But he laid the groundwork. With dirty jokes, sly comments, hugs that went on slightly too long, encouraging us to share our personal lives once we moved on to high school ('Write to me about your latest slap-and-tickle')."

As the Times Picayune reported, Bailey's attorney said that "Mr. Bailey has never acted inappropriately with any student and has never received any complaints about his time at Lusher more than 20 years ago" — which the school confirmed. Bailey had at one point also responded to an email sent by Peyton, saying that he had never acted inappropriately with any of his students.

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The publisher of a new , bestselling biography about Philip Roth has temporarily halted the book’s shipping and promotion as author Blake Bailey faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Bailey was an English teacher at the Lusher Middle School in New Orleans in the 1990s. Numerous former students have spoken out recently, alleging inappropriate and manipulative behavior at the time and saying he later pursued sexual relationships. Bailey ’s book, released in early April, was among the most anticipated literary biographies in recent years and has appeared on the bestseller

A highly-anticipated biography of Philip Roth has been pulled by the publishers after two women accused the Pulitzer-nominated author of rape , and three of his former students said he had been sexually inappropriate. Blake Bailey , 57, was handpicked by Roth – who died in 2018, aged 85 – to write the biography after meeting with him in 2012. The book, published on April 6, was heralded pre-publication as one of the books of the year: it received rave reviews and widespread media coverage, and immediately rocketed onto the New York Times bestseller list.

"For what it's worth, you weren't in 8th grade when the night in question occurred," he wrote. "You were in your 20s and I was in my 30s (just), and for the record I wasn't attracted to you when you were in 8th grade and have never laid a glove on any student, while she was my student, including college and grad school students."

The email also claimed that he was suffering from an unspecified mental illness at the time of the encounter.

Years later, in 2015, Valentina Rice, a publishing executive, alleges she was raped by Bailey while both stayed overnight at the New Jersey home of The New York Times book critic Dwight Garner.

Rice opted not to report the assault to authorities. Three years later, however, she used a pseudonym to email Julia A. Reidhead, the president of Norton, accusing Bailey of nonconsensual sex. Reidhead did not reply, but a week later, Rice received an email from Bailey who said the publisher had forwarded her note . . . to him.

"I can assure you I have never had non-consensual sex of any kind, with anybody, ever, and if it comes to a point I shall vigorously defend my reputation and livelihood," Bailey wrote. "Meanwhile, I appeal to your decency: I have a wife and young daughter who adore and depend on me, and such a rumor, even untrue, would destroy them."

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A Norton spokesperson told the New York Times that they were aware of the allegation and took it "very seriously."

"We did take steps, including asking Mr. Bailey about the allegations, which he categorically denied, and we were mindful of the sender's request for a guarantee of anonymity," she said.

In the last two decades, Bailey had emerged as a renowned biographer, having written books about John Cheever, Richard Yates and Charles Jackson, among others. In 2012, Bailey approached Roth after learning the novelist had parted ways with his earlier chosen biographer. According to the New York Times, Bailey convinced Roth to give him the job because he would not have "too prim or judgmental of a view of a man who had this florid love life."

The Times, in turn, describes the 900-page book as "a sprawling apologia for Roth's treatment of women, on and off the page, and a minutely detailed account of his victimization at the hands of his two wives."

It was Bailey's cavalier treatment of Roth's misogyny that initially prompted some of the accusations against Bailey, some of which originally appeared in the comments section of a blog hosted by Ed Champion. After more reports of his misconduct came to light, Bailey's literary agency, Story Factory, terminated its relationship with him "immediately after we learned of the disturbing allegations."

Bailey's book, which was released in April, had largely been met with favorable reviews by critics and had landed on the New York Times bestseller list earlier this week.

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