Kehinde Wiley Denies Accusation of Sexual Assault by Artist

After an artist accused the painter Kehinde Wiley of sexual assault in an Instagram post on Sunday, Mr. Wiley denied the allegations, saying on his own Instagram account that “someone I had a brief, consensual relationship with almost three years ago is now making a false accusation about our time together.”

“These claims are not true and are an affront to all victims of sexual abuse,” Mr. Wiley added.

Mr. Wiley, who was born in Los Angeles, is one of the best known painters in the United States, and is famous for his 2018 portrait of President Barack Obama.

On Sunday, Joseph Awuah-Darko, a British-born Ghanaian artist and the founder of the Noldor Artist Residency in Ghana, said in a lengthy Instagram post that on June 9, 2021, Mr. Wiley assaulted him twice during and after a dinner in Ghana that was held in the famed artist’s honor. In the first incident, Mr. Awuah-Darko said that he had been directing Mr. Wiley to a washroom when the star suddenly grabbed his buttocks.

Later that evening, Mr. Awuah-Darko said, a second assault occurred that was “much more severe and violent.” Mr. Awuah-Darko did not give further details of that incident on Instagram, but in a telephone interview, he said that a sexual encounter began consensually, but that it then moved to a bedroom, where he says that Mr. Wiley forced himself on him after Mr. Awuah-Darko had said he did not want to go further.

Mr. Awuah-Darko showed The New York Times text exchanges he said he had with Mr. Wiley from after their encounter, in which he repeatedly told Mr. Wiley that he was missing him and said he wanted to meet again. Mr. Awuah-Darko said that he had initially convinced himself that his encounters with Mr. Wiley had been loving. It was only in the fall of 2023, after therapy, that he admitted to himself that the incidents had been assaults and told a friend what had happened.

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