“I thought that my mothers fans would be angry with me”

It’s really impossible for any of us who haven’t experienced it to really comprehend abuse from a parent. But that experience becomes even more complicated when the abuser is famous. The Guardian today reports the abuse allegations against Marion Zimmer Bradley by her daughter Moira Greyland. In doing so it spoke directly to Greyland. This line in particular hit my emotions very hard, “I thought that my mothers fans would be angry with me”. The relationship between writers and fans has never felt more complex. Moira Greyland’s words in full are below.


Greyland, writing to the Guardian via email, said that she had not spoken out before “because I thought that my mothers fans would be angry with me for saying anything against someone who had championed womens rights and made so many of them feel differently about themselves and their lives.  I didnt want to hurt anyone she had helped, so I just kept my mouth shut”.

Greyland, a harpist, singer and opera director, said it was now clear to her that “one reason I never said anything is that I regarded her life as being more important than mine: her fame more important, and assuredly the comfort of her fans as more important.  Those who knew me, knew the truth about her, but beyond that, it did not matter what she had done to me, as long as her work and her reputation continued.”

She hailed the “outpouring of love and support” which has followed her revelations. “What has happened in the past 20 years, apparently, is that rape, child abuse and incest have been enough in the public eye for them to be accepted, and victims and survivors to routinely be believed now, and there are so many survivors among my mothers fans, as well as supporters of survivors and decent people who care about the truth that my mother is now being held to the very standards she wrote about,” her email continued.  

“I am so glad I spoke out, because on the blog, so many people have shared their OWN stories of abuse and incest and heartbreak.  I am going to keep talking about it, if only so that those people who need to share their own stories will do so now.”

via SFF community reeling after Marion Zimmer Bradleys daughter accuses her of abuse | Books | The Guardian.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

2 thoughts on ““I thought that my mothers fans would be angry with me”

  1. It’s never been more complicated to be a fan of anyone or anything. The panopticon means that things long hidden, or not talked about, or ignored are coming to light. Social and cultural mores are at a gear clash with this, though.

    It might be facile…but I think back to the 1990’s and American President Bill Clinton, whose affair became national scandal, and cause for impeachment. In previous decades, such things were simply not talked about and covered up.


    1. In the social media era, we lend authors immediate credibility when we follow them. I’m thinking of some of our right wing friends here who deploy their fans like paramilitary forces. Strange times!



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