As the Journal was going to press [with this 2006 article], Charles Brownstein sent us the following statement:
Though I’d hoped that the allegations brought against me would not have been aired in a court of public opinion, circumstances are such that I must provide my perspective. I did not come forward sooner out of respect for Taki, as I didn’t want to cause her any more hurt than I already, unintentionally, had. Right now, unfortunately, there is too much poisonous speculation circling about the incident, so I feel that the record must be set straight.
What happened in Ohio started when, after a party on the evening in question, Taki invited me to accompany her and Ken Lillie-Paetz back to her hotel room. This wasn’t unusual – I’d known both of them for more than a year and regarded them as friends. In her room, Taki served more drinks and suggested we go down to the pool. In the pool, everyone was intoxicated and rowdy. At one point, very late in the evening, I was sitting in the Jacuzzi with her and Ken, and I feigned to lift up her shirt. It was a stupid, drunken prank, of which I’m ashamed. It was something I’d never done before, nor anything I’d do since. I did not, at any point, grab, fondle, or expose her breast, nor was that ever my intention.
I feel terrible for hurting Taki’s feelings. The following day, and on several occasions since I apologized to Taki for my bad behavior. I also spoke with Ken at several points over the course of the weekend, to see if we could find a way to honorably set matters right. Unfortunately, my sincere apologies have all been rejected. I continue to feel genuine regret that I hurt someone I regarded as a friend, and I hoped she would accept my repeated apology, but since that’s not the case, I want to end the speculation surrounding this incident, because it’s not fair to the industry or to the people this was being speculated about.
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund handled the incident completely properly by taking Taki’s complaint seriously and promptly retaining a law firm specializing in such matters to conduct a thorough, impartial investigation. I participated fully with that investigation, which concluded at the end of February, a fact of which Taki was informed.
Likewise, I have not done and would not do anything to besmirch nor harm Taki’s reputation or career in any manner. I’m the servant of a public trust who has never worked with Taki in any capacity, and am in no position to either offer or reject her work, nor am I in a position to otherwise influence anyone else in doing so. Nor would I, were I in such a position of influence.
I hope that with the passage of time that Taki will accept my public apology, as I am sorry both to her and to the members of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, for this indiscretion.