Left-wing journalist Sam Kriss, who boasted online of his feminist credentials and attacked his enemies as misogynist racists, has been forced into issuing an apology after he was accused of repeatedly groping a fellow “Marxist-left” acquaintance while out on a date.
Yet despite his mea culpa, Kriss has found little sympathy and Labour MP Jess Phillips has even called for the journalist — known for baiting gamers and lashing out at the right online — to be locked up for his behaviour towards women.
A Facebook note which went viral Tuesday detailed how a night out with Kriss left its anonymous author feeling “trapped in some sort of hyper heterosexist hellscape” as the left-wing writer sexually harassed her, “smacked [her] backside hard”, and bragged about his family’s wealth in an attempt to lure her to his home.
In the piece, the victim of Kriss’ advances explains how she’d searched for an escape from the situation without causing trouble, because the writer shared her politics. She wrote: “How can I get away without pissing him off? Sam and I know lots of mutual people, we both exist on the Marxist far-Left. He’s a writer for Vice, the Guardian, various other outlets, he circulates around Momentum, and I didn’t want ‘any trouble’ then or later.
“Sam is, by his own words, from an incredibly wealthy, well-connected background, and therefore compared to me, very powerful.”
“I had hoped I would never have to write this account,” began the note, which was posted to a page entitled “Monitoring the left’s support for rape culture”, after the online #metoo campaign against sexual harassment inspired its author to speak out.
“But watching a man who repeatedly groped me, twisted my neck to forcibly kiss me, ignored any attempt I made to stop him, and refused to ‘let me’ drink non-alcohol, unashamedly attack feminists online [and] use misogynist language … means I’ve not really been able to forget.”
I didn't know who Sam Kriss was before today but his admission of sexual assault means he belongs in prison, a casual backhanded apology is not a thing.
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) October 17, 2017
“I could write of other incidents that occurred across the 3 times I met him, some could be considered worse, but I think detailing that one evening gives a clear picture,” the author of the note concluded.
Kriss addressed the accusations later that day, apologising for his behaviour in a post on blog Medium.
“My behaviour was absolutely unacceptable, beneath both me and especially the person involved, and there’s no excuse for it. I’ve apologised privately to her, and I’m apologising, publicly, now,” he wrote.
While Kriss provided “context” to the woman’s account, in his post, writing that the pair had an “existing sexual relationship”, feminists were largely unimpressed by his apology, with Labour MP Jess Phillips calling for the Corbyn supporter to be locked up over the allegations.
Hey @sam_kriss It 👏🏽 makes 👏🏽 absolutely 👏🏽 no 👏🏽 difference 👏🏽 that👏🏽 she 👏🏽 had 👏🏽 had 👏🏽 sex 👏🏽 with 👏🏽 you 👏🏽 before 👏🏽
— Hannoween Al-🎃thman (@HannahAlOthman) October 17, 2017
Right-leaning Twitter users blasted Kriss — whose work has appeared in publications including The Guardian and The Atlantic — as a hypocrite, with the self-styled feminist earlier this year having claimed that all video game enthusiasts “hate women”.
He is the best definition of a hypocrite
— Spacedoutkids (@Spacedoutkids) October 17, 2017
According to Kriss, the suicide bomber who killed 23 people and injured 250 at a pop concert in Manchester earlier this year was motivated by “a violent attitude towards women” rather than Islamism.
In September last year, the left-wing freelancer penned an article for anti-Brexit newspaper The New European, announcing that what he called “loony alt-right site” Breitbart had ‘landed’ in the UK — almost three years after Breitbart London’s launch.
While one of the denunciations made of Breitbart London in the hit-piece — which was fact-checked and slammed by Breitbart London Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam — was that a columnist had jokingly made reference to a feminist’s breasts, Kriss was accused in the Facebook note of having repeatedly “grabbed at” his acquaintance’s chest “with both hands”, as she tried to protest.
Vice told Buzzfeed on Tuesday it would no longer be commissioning pieces by Kriss, with the Rupert Murdoch-owned website having previously published such works by the writer as “’Brexit: the Movie’ Reveals Why the Upper Classes Are So Excited About the Prospect of Leaving the EU” — an article published during last year’s campaign at the time that big business, celebrities, and billionaires were all lining up to beg the British public to vote Remain in the referendum.