I learned yesterday that Marion Zimmer Bradley a well-known and award winning fantasy author has recently been accused by her children of sexual abuse - terrible abuse over a sustained period. Bradley died in 1999.
Whoa - 1999? Hmmm.
I've never read any of Ms. Bradley's work nor had I, before learning of these allegations, ever heard of her. Simply put, I have no brief either for or against her. Indeed, I have absolutely no reason to doubt the veracity of her children's charges. What I do have is a simple question: why now? Why fifteen years after her death when she has no means of defending herself. Does this bother anyone else?
I didn't like it when Joan Fontaine's children did it to her (remember "Mommy Dearest"?). A short time later Bing Crosby's son did it to him. Both were accused of varying levels of abuse and bullying--nothing even remotely approaching the accusations against Ms. Bradley, but like her, the accusations were made well after their deaths.
I don't like it. People should have a right to defend themselves. In fact, I don't see the point of making the allegations posthumously. If guilty (and they very well may be) they are beyond punishment, and while I can appreciate the difficulty of confronting abusive parents, I am also troubled by waiting until those parents die. Fifteen years?
I wish all of these people had possessed the courage to make these charges while the accused were still alive. Then we'd know for sure, wouldn't we.
Am I wrong? What do you think?