In late August, an anonymous email was circulated to the Cinefamily community, that then made its way onto social media and various news outlets. Amongst other accusations of mismanagement, it accused me, personally, of misconduct in my capacity as a volunteer board member. With the recent announcement that Cinefamily will be permanently closing its doors, it is time for me to step forward and clarify my role.
A year ago, an employee witnessed an incident at a Cinefamily party in which I wrapped my arm around a female employee's back. The man who witnessed it filed a complaint, an investigation was conducted by Cinefamily, and I was informed that my behavior was inappropriate. My intentions are irrelevant: I made her uncomfortable, and that is inexcusable. I corrected my behavior, am full of regret and will never act in such a manner again. I also did not inform the board of the incident, and that, too, is unacceptable.
There is a massive difference between what happened, and the anonymous email's most heinous and unfounded allegations that got such widespread attention: that I had committed a felony assault on unnamed women that were part of Cinefamily.
Last week, several publications finally reported that there was no proof to substantiate those allegations. And to be completely clear, I have never committed and would never commit the criminal acts that were described. Cinefamily's statement confirmed that their investigation found no evidence. No woman has ever accused me of anything of that nature. No such attack ever occurred.
Despite the email being untraceable, encrypted, and protected by Swiss privacy law, we believe we have identified the sender, and I am exploring my legal recourse against him. It was not sent by a victim; it was a malicious attack with fabricated claims.
The press assumed that my subsequent resignation from the board was an admission of guilt of the more grave, false allegations. In truth, it was an unsuccessful attempt to stop the attacks that would cause further damage to Cinefamily and myself. Several articles conflated narratives and casually lumped me in with a series of reported incidents that took place at Cinefamily before I was even a part of the organization.
It is alarming that fake allegations with no proof instantly did so much damage. A community I cared about has been entirely upended and I have since lost employment at my previous job, as Managing Director of Sandwich Video. I am focused on rebuilding my career and a film community I loved in whatever ways I can. This statement is intended only to reflect my voice, my side of the story, and my gratitude to the many friends who have stood by me throughout.
Thank you for your time.