The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman denies sexual assault claims

Neil Gaiman in a black blazer, red t-shirt, glasses.

Neil Gaiman, the creator of queer favourite comics and TV series including The Sandman and Good Omens, has denied allegations of sexual assault brought by two women.

One of the women, aged 23, alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the best-selling British author in a bath at his home in New Zealand in 2022, just hours after the pair met for the first time. The woman was employed as a nanny for Gaiman’s children.

A second woman claimed to have been subjected to “rough and painful” sex which she “neither wanted nor enjoyed”, while in a relationship with Gaiman, two years after meeting at a fan book signing in 2003. The woman was 20 at the time the relationship began.

Both women were in consensual relationships with Gaiman, now 63, at the time of the alleged assaults, according to Tortoise media, which published the allegations on Wednesday (3 July) in a podcast series called Master: The Allegations Against Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman puts down boundaries between fans and the third season.
Neil Gaiman has denied the allegations. (Getty)

Despite the consensual nature of the relationships, the women said Gaiman engaged in sadomasochistic acts and told them to call him “master”, with the 23-year-old woman alleging that during one incident, what she experienced “was so painful and so violent” that she lost consciousness.

“The pain was celestial,” she said. After asking him to stop, “he laughed and said I needed to be punished and used his belt on me,” she told podcast host, the broadcaster and journalist Rachel Johnson.

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Gaiman and the 23-year-old’s relationship continued for several weeks before he left New Zealand to travel to the UK.

The woman who met Gaiman at a book signing alleged that during one incident in Cornwall, in 2007 the author penetrated her even though she asked him not to because she was suffering from a painful infection. The incident caused her to “scream” with pain, she claimed.

Gaiman, also known for his fantasy novel American Gods, strongly denies the women’s claims and has insisted that all sexual acts were consensual.

Responding to the 23-year-old woman, Gaiman told Tortoise that the pair only “cuddled” and “made out” in the bath in New Zealand, and in the weeks that followed they only engaged in “consensual digital penetration”.

Responding to the other allegation, he said he was “disturbed” by the claim and denied any unlawful behaviour.

Tortoise reported that the writer is the subject of an ongoing police complaint in New Zealand. 

The force said it made a “number of attempts to speak to key people as part of this investigation and those efforts remain ongoing”. Gaiman has said they did not accept his “offer of assistance”.

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