Yikes, again, for Joss Whedon. The creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," and director of "The Avengers" and "Justice League" reshoots, clearly has a very messy private life that just got very public.
Whedon and Kai Cole were married in 1995 and had two kids before separating in 2012 and divorcing last year. Now that the divorce is apparently finalized, Cole has written a guest blog for TheWrap calling Whedon a hypocrite for his public persona as a champion of women's rights, when he (allegedly) confessed to cheating on her for years, taking advantage of his status as a producer/director to have multiple affairs.
Cole said Whedon had his first "secret affair" on the set of "Buffy." Here's part of her post:
"Fifteen years later, when he was done with our marriage and finally ready to tell the truth, he wrote me, 'When I was running 'Buffy,' I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can't touch it.' But he did touch it. He said he understood, 'I would have to lie — or conceal some part of the truth — for the rest of my life,' but he did it anyway, hoping that first affair, 'would be ENOUGH, that THEN we could move on and outlast it.'
Joss admitted that for the next decade and a half, he hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans and friends, while he stayed married to me. [...]
Then later, after he confessed everything, he told me, 'I let myself love you. I stopped worrying about the contradiction. As a guilty man I knew the only way to hide was to act as though I were righteous. And as a husband, I wanted to be with you like we had been. I lived two lives.' When he walked out of our marriage, and was trying to make 'things seem less bewildering' to help me understand how he could have lied to me for so long, he said, 'In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We're taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire — specifically sexually — and I was pulling off both!'
Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth. He deceived me for 15 years, so he could have everything he wanted. I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women's rights, committed to our marriage, and to the women he worked with. But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a shield, both during and after our marriage, so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist."
Why is she telling everyone this? Cole said she's recently been asked about her divorce in the press, and there's "misinformation" out there, so she felt compelled to share her side of things. Cole also wants the organizations that honor Whedon as a feminist to know the kind of guy they're honoring, and for the women around him (and possibly on his sets) to see a fuller picture.
Here's more from her guest blog:
"I don't think it is fair to me or other women to remain silent any longer. [...]
It has not been easy, because even though in my personal life I have been completely open about what happened, publicly people only know his superficial presentation of us: him as the lovable geek-feminist and me in the background, as his wife and supporter.
Until recently, Joss was still letting the illusion of our marriage stay intact. Now that it is finally public, I want to let women know that he is not who he pretends to be. I want the people who worship him to know he is human, and the organizations giving him awards for his feminist work, to think twice in the future about honoring a man who does not practice what he preaches. But no matter what happens, or how people interpret this statement, I no longer have to carry the burden of Joss' long-term deceit and confessions. I am free."
TheWrap tried to get comment from Joss Whedon, and his spokesperson did share this much:
"While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife."
Maybe out of concern for their children, but the ex-wife put up with what she considered a public facade for decades, so it wouldn't be out of respect for her. She wants her truth out there, even if it isn't his truth. This story could probably be told dozens of times over across Hollywood (just watch "First Wives Club"), but cheating allegations and tense marriages are certainly not unique to Hollywood.
UPDATE: After Cole's guest blog started making the rounds, a Whedon fan site announced it would stop updating content, writing, "So farewell then. 15 years is a long time and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. But now it's time to say goodbye. No more threads after this one, we're closing down. The site will at some stage become a read only site."
So farewell then. https://t.co/pajcs3d3lC— Whedonesque (@whedonesque) August 21, 2017
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