Alice Sebold says she is sorry.
The “Lovely Bones” author released a statement on Tuesday, apologising to Anthony Broadwater, the man she accused of raping her in 1981. Broadwater spent 16 years in prison for that wrong accusation.
“My goal in 1982 was justice—not to perpetuate injustice,” Sebold said in her apology, which she posted to Medium. “And certainly not to forever, and irreparably, alter a young man’s life by the very crime that had altered mine.”
Sebold was 18-years-old at the time of her assault and a student at Syracuse University. She later based her 1999 memoir Lucky on the experience.
“It has taken me these past eight days to comprehend how this could have happened,” Sebold wrote. “I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail. I will also grapple with the fact that my rapist will, in all likelihood, never be known, may have gone on to rape other women, and certainly will never serve the time in prison that Mr. Broadwater did.”
Broadwater said he was “relieved that she has apologized,” according to a statement issued by his lawyers.
“It must have taken a lot of courage for her to do that. It’s still painful to me because I was wrongfully convicted, but this will help me in my process to come to peace with what happened,” he added in the statement.