In her electronic mail to employees on Tuesday, Ms. Reidhead acknowledged that Norton might have performed extra to look into the allegations. “As a publishing company we are limited in our investigative abilities,” she wrote, “but we recognize that there may be situations, such as allegations of potentially criminal conduct, where we should actively consider bringing in outside assistance.”
Some of the allegations towards Mr. Bailey have been reported earlier by The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate and The Los Angeles Times, and extra accusations have been reported since.
In an electronic mail to the Times final week, Mr. Bailey denied the allegations, calling them “categorically false and libelous.” A lawyer for Mr. Bailey, Billy Gibbens, known as Norton’s response to the allegations “troubling and unwarranted.”
In an electronic mail on Tuesday, Mr. Gibbens added: “Norton made the drastic, unilateral decision to take Mr. Bailey’s books out of print, based on the false and unsubstantiated allegations against him, without undertaking any investigation or offering Mr. Bailey the opportunity to refute the allegations.”
Norton didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Tuesday.
Since the #MeToo motion started, publishers have canceled contracts with a quantity of authors who’ve confronted costs of sexual harassment and assault. In 2018, Simon and Schuster canceled a forthcoming e-book on the 2016 election by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, authors of the very best vendor “Game Change,” after Mr. Halperin was accused of sexually harassing girls at ABC News, the place he as soon as directed political protection.
And in March 2020, Hachette Book Group dropped a forthcoming memoir by Woody Allen amid a wave of criticism, together with a walkout by workers, who cited the longstanding accusations that Mr. Allen had molested his adopted stepdaughter Dylan. (Both Mr. Allen and Mr. Halperin later discovered different publishers.)
Pulling books which have already been printed is much less widespread, and even Norton’s preliminary “pause” final week drew concern from free expression teams. In a press release final week, the National Coalition Against Censorship stated books should be judged “on their content.”