Update: I have written about all of this, the things I did to change my life, my treatment regimen, my ongoing donations to rape and sexual assault charities, my current posture towards what happened, and the lack of meaningful engagement from my critics about it, here. That post is the last I will discuss of this. I am healthy and happy and I have moved on. To quote it:
There is a certain amount of ethical, psychological, and therapeutic work that I have to do because of what I did to Malcolm, work I am morally obligated to do. It can only happen internally and it can’t be seen by or shared with anyone else. I have been doing it and I will go on doing it and the only person who can function as the arbiter of whether I’m doing it well enough is me. If that’s unsatisfying to you because you can’t see what’s going on in my head, well, sorry. You’ll just have to live with the suspense.
On August 18th 2017 I lied and accused Malcolm Harris of rape and sexual harassment of women, particularly of women he works with. These allegations were completely untrue, Malcolm in no way deserved them, and if anyone held a shred of doubt, let him be fully exonerated. Crucially, despite my mental state at the time, I knew when I sent those tweets that they were untrue. I am responsible for having made those false allegations, and that makes me a liar, it makes me guilty of slander, and it makes me someone who undermined the profound seriousness of rape allegations.
I have bipolar disorder. I have been dealing with it since I was 21. For most of that time I have hidden my condition and resisted treatment, only telling my siblings more than a decade after my first manic episode.
When I first moved to New York I arranged to see a psychiatrist and was medicated for a few months. However my relationship with her was not good and getting to appointments was difficult and so, as has happened many times, I let my treatment lapse. In early 2017 I descended gradually into mania. My cycles are quite slow which can make it difficult to realize when my condition is falling out of my control. By late summer I was a danger to myself and others because of the extreme paranoid delusions that are common to my episodes. It was in that context that I made these accusations, but I again stress that I was responsible for my actions and that I have to be accountable for them.
I am ashamed of myself and have been ever since. I think about it every day.
I would like to be able to say that the incident with Malcolm – my accusations, my digging in on those accusations despite their obvious lack of credibility, my subsequent deletion of my Twitter account - inspired me to get help, but that wouldn’t be true. I only went to the hospital under threat of legal trouble – from someone other than Malcolm, who has been to his considerable credit explicit and adamant that he would not be pursuing a legal option. (Let me additionally say that I am not publishing this apology because of Malcolm pressuring me or in any other way putting me up to this.) That weekend I accused someone who was once quite close to me of conspiring against me, and threatened to harm them in revenge. They told me that either I went to get help the next day or they would have me arrested. I called my brother for help and sought treatment the next day at Richmond University Medical Center.
In terms of making amends, I can point to major changes that I have made and stuck with since I went to the hospital. I have now been on meds consistently for the longest period of my life. I have finally relented and accepted the fact that I must be on antipsychotic medication long-term, resistance to which has long proven a serious barrier to care. I have abandoned all social media permanently. I have stopped freelance writing. I have in general tried to permanently remove myself from online life and from the world of political writing in which Malcolm resides and I once resided. These changes are not attempts to make up for what I’ve done, really; they are just matters of self-preservation as I try to build a life where I do not cause harm to people anymore. I have fully committed to constant treatment, and I have fully committed to going away. I am so profoundly sorry.