What this article brought up will not go away, but after many conversations with family and friends, I decided to defend myself by speaking out, and of course legally. I will take action against this defamation. However, I’m sure that even if it works legally, the damage will still be there...
Following an earlier report on allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against German Gallerist, Johann König, here is his statement and Right of Reply regarding the matter.
"The ZEIT report is false and misleading, I was shocked. With the suggestive question in their title, old rumors are repeated, and new rumors circulate without evidence.
What this article brought up will not go away, but after many conversations with family and friends, I decided to defend myself by speaking out, and of course legally. I will take action against this defamation. However, I’m sure that even if it works legally, the damage will still be there.
On a Thursday afternoon last week, I was called by The ZEIT for the first time, the next afternoon, I already received a survey of more than 5,000 characters with the deadline for this Tuesday, 10 am. After a conversation I offered to have with two of the three article authors from ZEIT on Tuesday, this was abruptly terminated by the authors due to other assignment obligations, without being able to make my points clear; I had the impression that the article was already written. It is clear that the witnesses, facts and information were not of interest to The ZEIT. In order to release my alleged quotes, I was only given a good hour after this conversation, so in the end I didn’t get a single word on their article. It is incomprehensible to me that the authors of the ZEIT article quoted from my attorney’s letter but omitted a key fact: that there is a legal dispute between me and one of the persons involved.
The said conversation with another ZEIT article author, Caroline Worfel, took place at the beginning of 2018 as one among friends at a private birthday party in a small circle, i.e. as opposed to filming The ZEIT, and not in a professional setting. Nevertheless, I am happy to encounter the public debate, and also gladly in the form of a continuation of the originally private conversation with Caroline Werfel.
Former employees of the gallery told us that in recent years they were contacted by Luisa Hommerich, one of the article’s authors, with “suggestive questions” and inquiries about “gossip”. Several times during this period I tried to reach Luisa Hommerich to answer questions, including through one of her colleagues at ZEIT – there was no response.
The author was conducting research at the time based on an anonymous letter. Although the law did not allow ZEIT to quote from this anonymous letter, and although the Attorney General’s Office was investigating the author, ZEIT used this as the main story.
ZEIT also wrote that there is a criminal complaint against me. this is not true. I am not aware of any criminal charges, and therefore cannot comment on such an accusation. It is true that while I filed a criminal complaint against unknown persons in order to take action against the anonymous message although I know that this action also means that I will be investigated on the basis of the alleged content in it. Investigations remained fruitless and therefore stopped.
All of the alleged behavior she was accused of in the ZEIT article happened, according to the article, exclusively during Nightlife five years ago. Certainly the accidents did not occur as described. However, looking back, I can imagine my sloppy and impulsive way of partying, dancing, and talking, a mixture of party or nightclub atmosphere, crowded rooms, alcohol, darkness, poor eyesight (since an accident in my childhood, my right is blind, and I see 20- 30% in my left eye), it may have led to women or men feeling harassed by me, or even my actions being seen as assault. I can’t concretely rebuild this, but it seems to me at least possible. What I do know for sure, however, is that I have never acted on purpose in these moments, have never accepted a person against their will, have never ignored rejection, and have never accepted “no” for an answer. I never crossed that line.
If I have approached more than one person by my behavior as described, I am upset to find out, and I am deeply sorry for that and would like to apologize in all ways."
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