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Famed artist Kehinde Wiley has been accused of sexual assault by another artist, with Wiley denying the incidents.

According to reports, the award-winning painter Kehinde Wiley has been accused of sexual assault. The claims come from Joseph Awuah-Darko, a British-born Ghanaian artist and the founder of the Noldor Artist Residency in Ghana. Awuah-Darko made the claims in a post on Instagram that he made on Sunday.

“I hope my words and openness about my painful experience empower others to come forward,” Awuah-Darko wrote in the caption. “I hope all that unravels creates a path towards not only accountability, but recompense and collective healing for other victims.”

Awuah-Darko said that Wiley sexually assaulted him twice while the two were at a dinner held by the Ghana Creative Arts Council at the Noldor Artists Residency in 2021.

“The act was categorically unwelcome and unprovoked,” he wrote, stating that the first incident occurred within two hours of them being at the dinner. “The second [italics by the artist) assault was much more severe and violent.”

Awuah-Darko didn’t describe the second assault, but went on to say that it took him time to “confront the reality of my abuse as such.”

He also stated that he would be seeking legal action against Wiley, but acknowledged in an email to the New York Times that given the passage of a new law imposing jail on LGBTQ individuals in Ghana, it may not be received well.

Wiley has firmly denied the accusations from Awuah-Darko.

“Someone I had a brief, consensual relationship with is now making false, disturbing, and defamatory accusations about our time together,” he wrote in part in his own Instagram post on Monday. “I kindly ask for privacy as I work to clear my name.”

Wiley forwarded a copy of a cease and desist letter he sent to Awuah-Darko to the Times in addition to an email where he said that Awuah-Darko had “been trying to be part of my life ever since we met.”

Statistics show that Black men, in particular, “have experienced partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes,” according to data provided by the Center For Sexual Assault Survivors. Nearly 15% “of Black men have experienced intimate partner sexual violence (other than rape) in their lifetimes.”

In addition, “Black men, in particular, face the additional hurdle of stigmas and stereotypes that make it harder for them to access the support and resources they need after experiencing sexual violence,” the Center says on its website.


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Kehinde Wiley Addresses Sexual Assault Accusations From Ghanaian Artist: ‘These Claims Are Not True’  was originally published on