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Kenneth Lonergan defends Casey Affleck in student newspaper

Manchester By The Sea director hits back at comment piece run by The Wesleyan Argus.

Kenneth Lonergan has written a forceful defence of Manchester By The Sea star Casey Affleck in a letter to the Wesleyan University student paper.

The director, a former student of the college, was responding to an article in The Wesleyan Argus by Connor Aberle attacking Affleck over allegations of sexual harassment, Lonergan for casting him and the college for praising the director/writer for his Oscar win.

Lonergan responded with a strongly-worded letter entitled ‘How Connor Aberle and The Argus are Complicit in Slandering Casey Affleck’. He wrote:

“Connor Aberle’s article about myself, Casey, Affleck and Wesleyan’s supposed complicity in condoning sexual misconduct – and worse – by touting me as a Wesleyan alumn after I won an Oscar last week is such a tangle of illogic, misinformation and flat-out slander that only the author’s presumed youth can possibly excuse his deeply offensive display of ignorance, and warped PC-fuelled sense of indignation.”

He adds: “He writes as if Casey Affleck were actually guilty of a crime. In fact, it was alleged 7 years ago, in a civil lawsuit for breach of contract, that Casey sexually harassed two women formerly in his employ. Casey denounced the allegations as being totally fabricated. Like most civil suits, this one was settled out of court by mutual consent on undisclosed terms. In other words nothing was proved or disproved.”

Affleck, who won best actor at this year’s academy awards, was sued by producer Amanda White in 2010 for “uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances”. Cinematographer Magdalena Gorka also sued Affleck for sexual harassment.

The actor settled with both women out of court and denies all allegations.

Lonergan won his Oscar for best original screenplay.

Read more:
Oscars 2017: Full list of winners

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