Best-selling “13 Reasons Why” author Jay Asher has filed a lawsuit in connection with sexual misconduct claims he says are false, defamatory and damaging to his career, according to the New York Times.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court this week against the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the group’s executive director, Lin Oliver, claims Oliver and the organization “made false and defamatory statements about him (Asher) that torpedoed his career, and caused financial harm and intentional emotional distress,” the paper reports.
It reportedly goes on to say that Oliver and her organization “never properly investigated the complaints against him (Asher) and ignored exonerating evidence.”
The lawsuit comes after the San Luis Obispo author was accused of violating the society’s harassment code. The allegations came to light with the rise of the #MeToo movement.
Asher told the New York Times in a statement, “I do not condone harassment of any sort, and have spent my entire career standing up for its victims, so these statements were devastating.”
Asher has admitted to having consensual relationships with a group of authors while he was married but claims the allegations from the women came about after the relationships ended with hurt feelings when the women learned about each other.
The New York Times reports the lawsuit further states that Asher “provided the organization with evidence that one of the authors of the emails had ‘sexually coerced him at a SCBWI Conference’ and had been harassing him for more than a decade.”
The complaint, according to the paper, states that Asher “has suffered psychologically and economically from dramatically decreased book sales, and exclusion from involvement in a Netflix series based upon ‘Thirteen Reasons Why.”‘
Asher is reportedly seeking a jury trial and unspecified financial damages, according to the New York Times.