When Joss Whedon created Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, he gained critical acclaim across the United States for subverting the male hero archetype and replacing it with a female protagonist who wasn't afraid to jump into battle mode against menacing creatures. But recently, his ex-wife Kai Cole wrote an essay about Joss Whedon for The Wrap coming forward with with allegations of infidelity, manipulation, and general misery from her marriage with Whedon. Bustle has reached out to Whedon for comment.
In response to the accusations, Whedon's spokesperson said, "While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife."
Cole and Whedon — who wrote and directed The Avengers and its sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron — married in 1995, but in 2012, US Magazine reported that the couple had quietly separated. The news of their divorce was confirmed years later. According to Cole, she had been traveling "on a whim" from Massachusetts and met Whedon in Los Angeles where the two apparently fell in love. Cole relocated to the West Coast to be with the writer.
In the essay, Cole accused Whedon of cheating on her. She wrote that Whedon allegedly "admitted that for the next decade and a half, he hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans and friends, while he stayed married to me."
"Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth," Cole wrote.
Cole accused Whedon of writing her a letter in which he had reportedly written that being a TV writer after Buffy's fame made him feel "like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can’t touch it."
She also noted that she was a "private" individual who normally did not seek such spotlight. But the apparent reason that Cole cited for penning such a scathing takedown of her former spouse was that she felt "compelled to go on the record and clear up some misperceptions," as she found it to be unfair "to me or other women to remain silent any longer."
After accusing Whedon of using the couple's marriage as a "shield" against public scrutiny and possible questioning of Whedon's feminist credentials, Cole wrote that she was working on rebuilding her life and self-esteem, ultimately ending the essay on three final words: "I am free."