Israel Horovitz, the father of Adam Horovitz (aka Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys), has has been accused of rape, assault of a minor, and unwanted kissing and groping in a story published today by The New York Times. The elder Horovitz is a famous, award-winning playwright. The Times spoke with nine women alleging sexual assault against him, He replied that he has “a different understanding of some of these events.”
His son’s statement was clear, though: “I believe the allegations against my father are true, and I stand behind the women that made them.”
The assaults detailed in the Times story were said to have happened in the ‘80s and ‘90s behind closed doors and in stairwells at Horovitz’s home and at Gloucester Stage Company in Massachusetts where he was artistic director and a mentor to many.
Similar allegations were made against Horovitz in 1993, with six women accusing him of predatory behavior. The original story about those allegations in The Boston Phoenix is no longer online, but was republished in early November on Arts Fuse by its writer Bill Marx, who worked on the story with Skip Ascheim. At the time of the original publication, the board of directors at Gloucester Stage Company brushed aside the claims and criticized Horovitz’s accusers of overreacting.
All of these allegations against Horovitz have consistent details about how Horovitz’s mentorship and alleged assaults occured over the course of lengthy relationships while he remained in a position to affect the women’s careers.
Following over 50 women accusing Bill Cosby of sexual assault in 2016, stories about sexual assault by men in power have become one of the defining news stories of this year, with allegations made against Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Russell Simmons, Garrison Keilor, Brett Ratner, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Senator Al Franken, Senate candidate Roy Moore and many others.
Last month at a New York Times event in Manhattan called “Male Abuses of Power,” writers said after publishing sexual assault stories about Silicon Valley, O’Reilly and Weinstein, the newsroom received numerous tips on similar stories. Writer Megan Twohey said they were taking all of them seriously and follow up on every single one.
The context for all this is rape culture and misogyny worldwide, issues that Ad-Rock’s wife, the feminist activist and punk rock legend Kathleen Hanna has been dedicated to fighting for decades. Over time, all three Beastie Boys—Ad-Rock, Mike D and the late Adam Yauch—underwent feminist awakenings, disavowing the misogyny and working title (Don’t Be a Faggot) of their landmark hip hop album, which was released as License to Ill in 1986—the same year the first incident in today’s Times story was alleged.