Is Chris Noth being blackmailed?

Currently, Chris Noth is being eaten alive in the public forum based upon allegations that he sexually assaulted women many years (even decades) ago. Without determining whether those claims are true or not, one can still be disturbed by the fact that celebrity attorney Gloria Allred is insisting that he take a political stand on the statute of limitations for rape claims in New York if he wishes to prove his innocence.

We’re all familiar with the horror show that was Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. Brett was falsely accused of sexual assault by four women. The most famous was Christine Blasey Ford, a woman who could give Jussie Smollett lessons in deceitfulness. Debbie Ramirez said she had gaps in her memory and had to ponder for six days before being confident that she remembered Brett exposing himself at a party decades ago. Later she entirely recanted her story. Julie Swetnick claimed to have attended several parties where Brett was in charge of gang-raping girls, a story so absurd it didn’t even begin to hold up. Judy Munro-Leighton outright admitted she made a false accusation to get attention.

Brett was lucky in that President Trump strongly supported him. He vigorously defended himself, as well, with documents that proved Ford was lying. Brett Kavanaugh weathered his false accusation and came out stronger.

Chris Noth may not be so lucky. To be clear, I am not saying that Chris Noth is innocent of the sexual assault claims leveled against him. He admits to encounters with the women who have come forward after many years to accuse him. He claims the encounters were consensual. Perceptions differ.

It is entirely possible that Chris traumatized and assaulted these women. It is also entirely possible that the women are lying their heads off. It has become a given in our society that women can accuse men of misconduct, even misconduct that occurred decades ago. Women don’t have to provide evidence for their allegations. They tell their story and men suffer punishments with no chance to defend themselves. To a certain segment of our population, this is extremely gratifying.

In Chris Noth’s case, there may be no way to know what really happened. However, some disturbing new developments have emerged. A woman named Lisa Gentile has come forward to accuse Chris of sexual assault.

Image: Chris Noth. YouTube screen grab.

Gentile claims the assault occurred in her apartment, where her roommate was asleep in the bedroom. Gentile alleges some forceful petting that alarmed her, but she did not scream to wake up her roommate. Gentile does claim she told the roommate what happened after she woke up, but apparently what happened included Gentile telling Chris no, after which he left the apartment without further incident.

What troubles me about Gentile’s story is that her lawyer, Gloria Allred, has issued a statement that calls for the state of New York to alter the statute of limitations using the Adult Survivors Act (ASA). The change would allow looking at allegations that fall outside the statute of limitations.

Whether or not this is a worthy cause, I don’t see what bearing the ASA has on Gentile’s specific accusation. What is especially chilling is Allred’s saying that she urges “Chris Noth to speak out in support of the New York Adult Survivors Act. He has asserted in a statement that everything he did with those who have accused him was consensual... If that is true, then he should support the ASA so that the accusers’ allegations can be resolved in a court of law rather than in a court of public opinion.”

It sounds like Allred is saying the only way for Chris to prove his innocence is to join forces with women who want to accuse men decades later of crimes that may or may not have happened, all without evidence.

Whatever happened to due process? Whatever happened to the right of the accused to face his accuser in a court of law? There was a time when any black man accused of so much as looking at a white woman was lynched.

Now the net seems to have widened. Any man is at risk of accusation and lynching. The mob no longer uses rope, but keyboards. Men are not beaten to death or left dangling from trees. Instead, their reputations are destroyed, their livelihoods are taken away, and they live under a cloud of public shame.

I do not say the women are always lying, but I do think it’s about time we get past the “punishment first and ask questions never” mentality that is governing rape accusations today, particularly when it comes to prominent men who have fame, money, and political influence.

Pandra Selivanov is the author of The Pardon, a story of forgiveness based on the thief on the cross in the Bible.

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