Playwright Israel Horovitz Accused by Nine Women of Sexual Assault

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 07: Actor Kevin Kline (L) and writer/director Israel Horovitz attend the Variety Studio presented by Moroccanoil at Holt Renfrew during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Variety)
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Variety

Nine women have come forward to accuse the playwright Israel Horovitz of sexual assault, the New York Times has revealed.

The alleged instances included cases of Horovitz kissing, groping or forcing himself on the women when they were in their teens or early 20s, with the incidents dating back as far as the 1980s and as recently as last year.

Horovitz issued an apology over the allegations, but claimed to have a “different memory of some of these events.”

“I apologize with all my heart to any woman who has ever felt compromised by my actions, and to my family and friends who have put their trust in me,” Horovitz told the Times. “To hear that I have caused pain is profoundly upsetting, as is the idea that I might have crossed a line with anyone who considered me a mentor.”

Meanwhile, Horovitz’s son, Adam Horovitz — a founding member of the hip-hop group The Beastie Boys — said he believed the women’s claims.

“I believe the allegations against my father are true, and I stand behind the women that made them,” he said, after his former girlfriend Jocelyn Meinhardt accused his father of raping her when she was just 19.

Other accusers included an au pair who claimed “he groped her breasts and placed her hand on his erect penis,” a 16-year old actress in one of his plays who he allegedly “pressed her against a wall and forcefully kissed her,” and an aspiring playwright who considered him a “grandfather figure” before he allegedly “kissed and groped her breasts.”

The report also reveals that in 1993 The Boston Phoenix reported on a series of misconduct allegations against Horovitz, although his company, the Gloucester Theatre Company, ignored the claims against him. However, Horovitz has now resigned from his role, with the company apologizing for their failure to listen.

“I apologize to the brave women who came forward in 1992 and 1993 but were not listened to,”  the Gloucester Theatre Company board’s current president, Elizabeth Neumeier, said in a statement. “We are individually and collectively appalled by the allegations, both old and new.”


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