On Monday, right before the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded, a court in Stockholm unanimously sentenced Jean-Claude Arnault, a central player in Sweden's Nobel community, to two years in prison for a 2011 rape. The Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, announced in May that it will not award the literature Nobel this year, citing the Arnault scandal. "The court's conclusion is that the evidence is enough to find the defendant guilty of one of the events," Judge Gudrun Antemar said Monday, adding that the evidence "has mainly consisted of statements made during the trial by the injured party and several witnesses."
Arnault, who is French, is a major cultural figure in Sweden, and his wife, poet Katarina Frostenson, is a suspended member of the Swedish Academy. He had faced two counts of rape. Peter Weber
The Swedish Academy announced Friday that it will not award the Nobel Prize in literature this year, but rather announce the 2018 winner next year, "in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate," citing a desire to "safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize" amid a sexual harassment scandal that has thrown the literature academy into chaos. "The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize," the academy said in a statement. "Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation." The 18-member committee, minus the seven who have suspended their lifetime membership, made the decision in a meeting Thursday.
The scandal centers around photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, a major Swedish cultural figure who is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing 18 women, leaking the name of at least seven laureates, and, Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reported last Saturday, groping Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria in 2006. Arnault, who denies the allegations, is married to poet Katarina Frostenson, a member of the academy who was removed after the 18 allegations of sexual misconduct, many tied to the Swedish Academy building, surfaced last November. The secretive academy has faced criticism for its handling of the allegations.
The academy has refrained from handing out a literature Nobel just seven other times, the last being in 1943, due to world wars and, in 1935, because no writer was deemed worthy. It said Friday that the other 2018 Nobels will be handed out as normal. Peter Weber