Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson and her husband Jean-Claude Arnault. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
An investigation ordered by the Swedish Academy claims one of its members leaked the names of Nobel Prize winners to her husband, who has been jailed for raping a woman.
The Swedish Academy ordered a law firm to carry out the inquiry following a year of scandals, sparked when Jean-Claude Arnault – not a household name in Sweden but a prominent figure on Stockholm's cultural scene – was accused of rape and sexual misconduct by several women, allegations which he denied.
He was also accused of leaking the names of several winners of the Nobel Literature Prize, awarded by the Academy, and the inquiry now claims he was fed the information by his wife, poet Katarina Frostenson, who has denied the accusations.
The inquiry report also states that Frostenson – who took a leave of absence from the Academy after the revelations – should step down from the Nobel Prize-awarding body permanently. If she refuses, it urged the remaining members of the Academy to expel her, Swedish news agency TT reported on Tuesday.
Frostenson did not immediately comment, but in a letter sent to the Academy her lawyer accused it of "violating (her) human rights" by not letting her read the entire report – parts of which are confidential because they are part of a separate ongoing probe by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority into the Forum club.
Arnault's Forum Club was a meeting place for the cultural elite and aspiring authors and had received funding from the Academy for years. The allegations against the 72-year-old Frenchman left the Swedish Academy deeply divided over how to manage their ties to him and Frostenson.
Six of its 18 members resigned or went on leave in the wake of the row, and several traded ugly barbs via the media. Without a quorum to make key decisions (an additional two members had already resigned on previous occasions), the Academy postponed this year's Nobel Literature Prize, a first in 70 years.
A Swedish appeals court in December found Arnault guilty of two counts of rape.