Nicholas Sparks denies headteacher's claims that he's a 'homophobic, racist anti-Semite'

The Notebook author faces a civil lawsuit

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The Independent Online

Nicholas Sparks has been branded an anti-Semitic, homophobic racist in a lawsuit brought against him by the headmaster of a North Carolina school that The Notebook author funded and founded.

Saul Hillel Benjamin’s claims include an allegation that Sparks supported a group of students who “viciously bullied” a group of gay students and wanted to enact a “homo-caust”, according to the legal Complaint.

The writer’s entertainment lawyer, Scott Schwimer, has already denied the claims.

"As a gay, Jewish man who has represented Nick for almost 20 years I find these allegations completely ludicrous and offensive," he told The Independent.

Sparks' lawyer for the case, Theresa Sprain, added: "We deny these allegations as presented in the complaint. We will vigorously defend this matter and look forward to pursuing any available remedies."

The author's publicist could not be reached.

Benjamin also alleges that when he complained to Sparks that there were only two out of 514 African Americans students at the Epiphany School of Global Studies, the author responded: "Black students are too poor and can't do the academic work."

The headmaster’s claim further alleges that the writer was angered when Benjamin met with members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People North Carolina chapter, and claims that Sparks told his employee to "engage only in private and less visible contact with African Americans".

Benjamin alleges that, while Sparks claims to be an advocate of diversity, he true views are quite the opposite.

"In reality, the non-fiction version of Defendant Sparks feels free, away from public view, to profess and endorse vulgar and discriminatory views about African-Americans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (‘LGBT’) individuals, and individuals of non-Christian faiths," said the complaint.

He also accused Sparks of having made him justify his Jewish heritage in front of the school, as parents of students fired insults at him.

Benjamin also claims that the author falsely told colleagues that the headmaster was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He claims that he was trapped in a room for hours while a meeting was held to "unlawfully remove" him from his position at the school and role within the Nicholas Sparks Foundation.

The Epiphany School of Global Studies is "anchored in the Judeo-Christian commandment to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself".

"Our Christian Traditions, ethical commitments toward others, open-hearted faith, and appreciation for diversity, are integral to the honorable [sic] values and kindness manifested in the daily life of the school," reads a statement on its website. "There is no specific religious doctrine associated with the school nor are there any Statements of Belief, and the inherent dignity of all human beings is celebrated."

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