For those wondering if there is any news regarding pagan musician Kenny Klein’s legal troubles, a new development has caught my attention. This evening I saw a link to a fundraiser online (“Legal Defense Fund Against Abuser”), started by Kenny Klein’s ex-wife Tzipora Katz, for legal fees that may be incurred in the near future. As you may recall, the news of Klein’s arrest for possession of child pornography caused a great deal of shock, anger and controversy in our community. Katz spoke out online about Klein’s sexual abuse of their son. She maintains that it was a condition of an earlier legal action (surrounding child custody following their divorce) that she was “silenced” from speaking about any reference to sexual abuse allegations that occurred during their marriage.
I report this news somewhat reluctantly, as I myself incurred a great deal of flak in the wake of my earlier blog post, including people insisting I was somehow an “apologist” for child abuse because I maintained that possession of child pornography was not automatic evidence that Klein was also a child molester. (To be clear, I have known Klein for many years, but do not consider myself more than a festival acquaintance and fellow musician) At the time, I was troubled by the many people who seemed to, as the saying goes, come out of the woodwork to claim that Klein had, at some point in the last two decades, sexually manipulated them, leered at them, made an unsavory comment in their presence, or done something inappropriate in the presence of their children. It was surprising to me that people would wait until such a scandal was exposed to reveal their own experiences from so many years ago, and it had a whiff of Salem Witch Trial histrionics to me.
As a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I would never want to belittle anyone’s hurtful experiences, nor prevent them from receiving justice and support. But I do think it is a very difficult thing to prevent the rumor mill from exploding when someone in our community who is well known is thrust into the spotlight following horrific allegations. And I am bothered to think that people would stay silent for such a long time about something as serious as sexual abuse. And I am even more bothered to think that people might fabricate such stories, to jump on a bandwagon that is already in flames.
As regards Katz’s announcement, Katz appears to be taking Klein to court to have the enforcement of the existing order modified; presumably because she wants to be able to speak publicly about what she experienced in their marriage. This is in response to an order filed by Klein’s attorney, demanding that Katz be held in contempt for violating the gag order that was a condition of their custody agreement. That order also asks for proof that all references to the matter be deleted from the various places on the internet where they appeared (which would include the comments section of this blog). The order further requests “compensatory damages” for Klein’s legal fees. The fundraiser contains links to legal documents. By sharing the link to the fundraiser here, I am not endorsing it. But I am interested in understanding the overall case more clearly.
I ask that any comments on this post be kept civil and relevant.