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Playwright Israel Horovitz Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Nine Women

Israel Horovitz, the longtime playwright-director who helmed the 2014 film “My Old Lady,” has been accused of sexual misconduct by nine women.

The women came forward to the New York Times, speaking on the record about allegations that stretch back to 1986, and one of which occurred as recently as last year. One rape is alleged, as are multiple instances of forced kissing and groping.

Neither Horovitz nor his representative could immediately be reached for comment. The playwright told the Times that he had “a different memory of some of these events,” but apologized “to any woman who has ever felt compromised by my actions.”

Horovitz’s son, Beastie Boys founder Adam Horovitz, released a statement standing behind the women. “I believe the allegations against my father are true, and I stand behind the women that made them,” Adam Horovitz said in a statement to the Times.

Gloucester Stage, the Massachusetts theater where he was founding artistic director, severed ties with Horovitz after learning of the allegations earlier this month. “We cancelled plans to produce a Horovitz play in 2018 and agreed that under no circumstances would he continue to serve on the Board, ex officio, as artistic director emeritus,” said the theater’s board president, Elizabeth Neumeier, in a statement.

Horovitz has written about 70 plays and regularly served as a mentor to young writers, some of whom are among his accusers. His plays includes “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard” (1991); “My Old Lady,” the 2002 play he adapted into a film that starred Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kristin Scott Thomas; and “Out of the Mouths of Babes,” which premiered last year in a small Off Broadway production at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Horovitz had previously been accused of sexual misconduct in a 1993 investigation by the Boston Phoenix, but those allegations never led to any action from Gloucester Stage’s board. In her statement, Neumeier apologized to the women who came forward in the Phoenix. “We deeply regret that past complaints were mishandled,” she said in her statement. “We are committed to making sure that GSC is a place where people are safe, free to do their best work, and to speak out without fear of reprisal.”

One of the women who spoke to the Times, Maia Ermansons, had previously alluded the her experiences on social media. In a tweet dated Nov. 10, she said, “#LouisCK you mattered to me. F— you. Another on my list: numero uno #IsraelHorovitz.”

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