Harry Potter creator JK Rowling's ex-husband, Jorge Arantes, has reacted to the writer's recent claims that she was physically abused in her 20s. Arantes, a Portuguese former journalist, admitted to slapping her, but refused to apologise for it.
The Sun reports that Arantes has not read Rowling's recent, 3600-word statement in response to criticism over her comments about the trans community. "I slapped Joanne — but there was no sustained abuse. I'm not sorry for slapping her." Asked about his admission 10 years ago that he'd hit her on the evening they split, he said, "Yes. It is true I slapped her. But I didn't abuse her."
He said that he hadn't read her essay. "If she says that, that's up to her. It's not true I hit her," he is quoted as having said.
Earlier this week, in response to her series of tweets that were met with widespread condemnation, Rowling revealed in a statement on her website that she was abused in her 20s, in her 'first marriage'. She also wrote that she was a survivor of sexual assault, but refused to identify the accused.
"I'm mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who've been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces," she wrote.
She wrote that the criticism around her tweets put her "in a very dark place inside my head, as memories of a serious sexual assault I suffered in my 20s recurred on a loop. That assault happened at a time and in a space where I was vulnerable, and a man capitalised on an opportunity. I couldn't shut out those memories and I was finding it hard to contain my anger and disappointment about the way I believe my government is playing fast and loose with women's and girls' safety."
Rowling's original comments were rejected by thousands online, including Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Bonnie Wright, and Fantastic Beasts actor Eddie Redmayne. Rowling is a producer on the final two Potter movies, and the Fantastic Beasts films. She also wrote the second Fantastic Beasts movie.