Man at center of Nobel prize scandal charged with rape

Many in the Scandinavian nation, known for promoting gender equality, have expressed concerns over the case that has exposed bitter divisions within the academy, whose members are appointed for life, and given rise to accusations of patriarchal leanings among some members.

Last month, the academy announced that no prize will be awarded this year.

The protest has grown out of what began as Sweden’s own #MeToo moment in November when the country saw thousands of sexual misconduct allegations surfacing from all walks of life. It hit the academy when 18 women came forward in a Swedish newspaper with accusations against Arnault.

He was banned in December by the academy from attending a Nobel banquet after Dagens Nyheter, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers, published the allegations.

The gold Nobel Prize for Literature.Fernando Vergara / AP file

The academy then commissioned lawyers to investigate sexual misconduct claims.

Arnault has also been suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award. He has allegedly leaked winners’ names seven times, starting in 1996. It was not clear who the names were disclosed to.

The academy said that following what it called “a serious crisis,” it had decided to hand over the report to relevant judicial authorities. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority said it had received the academy report but declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.


Last year after the first allegations surfaced, annual funding of 126,000 kronor ($12,000) to Arnault’s center was immediately stopped. The Academy then stressed it had not been paid to Arnault personally.

The probe found no evidence that Arnault “had any direct or indirect influence on” the handing out of funds since it first got it in 2010 but “the decision-making process” was in violation” with its rules because an unnamed person had a share in Arnault’s institution.


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