Multiple Women Accuse Playwright Israel Horovitz of Sexual Misconduct

Israel Horovitz - 2014 Variety Studio TIFF - Getty - H 2017
Getty Images

Horovitz allegedly engaged in inappropriate kissing and groping, and is accused of raping a teenager according to an exposé by The New York Times.

Nine women have spoken publicly for the first time with allegations of sexual abuse by playwright Israel Horovitz.

In an exposé published Thursday by The New York Times, the women spoke on the record about their encounters with Horovitz, who allegedly made unwanted sexual advances, including forceful kissing, fondling and groping. One woman claimed he raped her in 1989. 

Many women who came forward were teenagers at the time who were working under Horovitz and considered the award-winning author, who penned plays such as The Indian Wants the Bronx and Park Your Car in Harvard Yard, a mentor.

"He was a good mentor, until he was the worst, probably most nightmarish mentor you could have," one of his accusers, Jocelyn Meinhardt, told the Times.

Meinhardt claimed she once dated his son, Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, and had known the playwright on a personal level when she began a summer fellowship at the Gloucester Stage Company, where he served as artistic director, in 1989. She alleged he drove her to his family's home and kissed and fondled her behind locked doors, before leading her to the bedroom and raping her.

Another accuser claimed she was 16 years old when she worked as an au pair for Horovitz, and he allegedly groped her breasts and forced her to place her hand on his crotch.

In a statement to the Times, Horovitz claimed he has "a different memory of some of these events."

"I apologize with all my heart to any woman who has ever felt compromised by my actions, and to my family and friends who have put their trust in me. To hear that I have caused pain is profoundly upsetting, as is the idea that I might have crossed a line with anyone who considered me a mentor," he said.

His son supported his father's accusers in a separate statement: "I believe the allegations against my father are true, and I stand behind the women that made them."

Gloucester Stage severed ties with Horovitz last week in light of the allegations.