Alice Sebold Apologizes To Anthony Broadwater Who Was Wrongfully Convicted Of Raping Her
Author Alice Sebold has apologized to Anthony Broadwater, the man who was wrongfully convicted of her rape after he was exonerated from the crime last week.
Broadwater served 16 years after he was found guilty of raping Sebold when she was a student at Syracuse University. She wrote about the attack in her 1999 memoir, Lucky. A New York State Supreme justice overturned the conviction on November 22 after finding “serious” flaws in Broadwater’s arrest and trial.
Sebold posted a long statement to Medium on Tuesday, and wrote, “First, I want to say that I am truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through. I am sorry most of all for the fact that the life you could have led was unjustly robbed from you, and I know that no apology can change what happened to you and never will. Of the many things I wish for you, I hope most of all that you and your family will be granted the time and privacy to heal.”
Broadwater released his own statement through his attorneys that said, “I’m relieved that she has apologized. It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that, it’s still painful to me because I was wrongfully convicted, but this will help me in my process to come to peace with what happened.”
Lucky publisher Scribner released a statement that starting Tuesday, they will halt the distribution of the memoir for the time being.
In the book, Sebold, who also the award-winning author of The Lovely Bones, wrote that she saw a black man in the street months after her rape and was sure he was her attacker. She went to the police but didn’t know his name. Broadwater had been seen in the area at the time and was placed in a police lineup. Broadwater, under the pseudonym Gregory Madison in the book, wasn’t identified by Sedold – she chose someone else in the lineup.
Broadwater was put on trial and found guilty for a crime he didn’t commit. In her statement on Tuesday, Sebold addressed systematic bias as well as her role in the trial and conviction.
“I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him,” she said.
She continued, “I will remain sorry for the rest of my life that while pursuing justice through the legal system, my own misfortune resulted in Mr. Broadwater’s unfair conviction for which he has served not only 16 years behind bars but in ways that further serve to wound and stigmatize, nearly a full life sentence.”