Author Alice Sebold apologises to man wrongly convicted of her rape

Author Alice Sebold had mistakenly identified Mr Anthony Broadwater as the man who had attacked her in 1982. PHOTO: LITTLE BROWN & COMPANY

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Best-selling author Alice Sebold on Tuesday (Nov 30) issued a public apology to a man who was wrongfully convicted of raping her 40 years ago in an attack that inspired her 1999 memoir Lucky.

Anthony Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison, was exonerated by a court in New York last week after the case was reopened.

He was convicted in 1982 after Sebold, then a university student, mistakenly identified him as the man who attacked her five months previously.

Sebold said in a statement on the Medium website that she was "truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through." Sebold, who went on to write best-seller The Lovely Bones,said that as a "traumatised 18 year-old" she had put her faith in the United States legal system.

"I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalised by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him," Sebold wrote.

"I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail," she added.

The rape and the subsequent trauma formed the basis of Sebold's first book Lucky, which launched her career.

Variety reported last week that work on an independent film adaptation of Lucky had been abandoned after financing dried up.

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