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Author Alice Sebold apologizes to man wrongly convicted of her rape

Anthony Broadwater, center, gazes upward, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Syracuse, N.Y., after Judge Gordon Cuffy overturned the 40-year-old rape conviction that wrongfully put him in state prison for Alice Sebold's rape. Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison, was cleared Monday by a judge of raping Sebold when she was a student at Syracuse University, an assault she wrote about in her 1999 memoir, "Lucky."

LOS ANGELES — Best-selling author Alice Sebold on Tuesday issued a public apology to a man who was wrongfully convicted of raping her 40 years ago in an attack that inspired her 1999 memoir “Lucky.”

Anthony Broadwater, who spent 16 years in prison, was exonerated by a court in New York last week after the case was re-opened.

He was convicted in 1982 after Sebold, then a university student, mistakenly identified him as the man who attacked her five months previously.

Sebold said in a statement on the Medium website that she was “truly sorry to Anthony Broadwater and I deeply regret what you have been through.”

Sebold, who went on to write best-seller “The Lovely Bones,” said that as a “traumatized 18-year-old” she had put her faith in the U.S. legal system.

“I am grateful that Mr. Broadwater has finally been vindicated, but the fact remains that 40 years ago, he became another young Black man brutalized by our flawed legal system. I will forever be sorry for what was done to him,” Sebold wrote.

“I will continue to struggle with the role that I unwittingly played within a system that sent an innocent man to jail,” she added.

The rape and the subsequent trauma formed the basis of Sebold’s first book “Lucky,” which launched her career.

Variety reported last week that work on an independent film adaptation of “Lucky” had been abandoned after financing dried up.