Author Pat Conroy’s daughter-in-law sues editors for reporting sexual abuse

Emily Conroy says details of the abuse she allegedly suffered as a child have been published in books about her stepfather.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The daughter-in-law of Pat Conroy, a well-known American writer, is suing two authors and two publishing houses for exposing her sexual abuse by her biological father without seeking his consent.

Emily Conroy filed a lawsuit in Portland U.S. District Court for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and injunction on February 25, 2021 and is seeking $ 15 million in damages from the defendants. She is suing Michael Mewshaw, Counterpoint Press, Bernie Schein and Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

Emily Conroy said her private information was published in two books published in 2019: “The Lost Prince: A Search for Pat Conroy” and “Pat Conroy: Our Lifelong Friendship” by Schein.

According to the lawsuit, Emily Conroy’s parents divorced when she was young and her mother then married novelist Pat Conroy, known for writing “The Great Santini”, “The Prince of Tides” and “The Lords of Discipline” .

Emily Conroy said that for many years when she was young, her biological father repeatedly raped and sexually abused her. She eventually confided in a therapist and her parents about the abuse and her father, Dr. Alan Fleischer, was indicted in August 1986 on one count of assaulting children in DeKalb County. , Georgia. However, Fleischer was never extradited from Arizona to Georgia and was never prosecuted for the crime he faced.

The lawsuit says several newspapers published the allegations against Fleischer in the late 1980s, but none of them named or identified Emily Conroy as the victim of his crimes.

Emily has lived a private life and intentionally sought to keep her family history and her own history of sexual abuse out of the public eye, according to the lawsuit. However, after Pat Conroy’s death in 2016, people who knew the author began to write books about him, including Mewshaw and Schein.

The lawsuit says Mewshaw and Schein wrote about their personal relationship and fallout with author Pat Conroy. Both books name Emily Conroy as the victim of Fleischer’s abuse and give graphic details about the abuse.

Emily Conroy said neither the authors nor the editors asked for her permission to reveal private information about her abuse.

Emily Conroy said she has suffered severe physical and emotional distress since the books were published. She believes that the information published in the book will irreparably damage her reputation and continue to cause her trauma.

In addition to the $ 15 million Emily Conroy is asking for in the lawsuit, she is also asking the court to ban any future sale and distribution of the two books.

In a statement, Emily Conroy said: “Part of the reason for the lawsuit is due to all the brave women, who stepped forward and made their voices heard. That’s why, these days, I find it hard to believe that anyone would write about the trauma of a nine-year-old girl without even getting her permission to do so.

KOIN 6 News also contacted Counterpoint Press and Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. for comment, but did not receive a response.

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