The author, 54, responded to accusations of transphobia with a lengthy essay explaining her stance on the matter. In it, she revealed that she is both a domestic abuse and a sexual assault survivor. Although she did not name her attacker in either case, Arantes spoke with The Sun and admitted to slapping her. He denied there was regular abuse in their relationship, however.
“I slapped Joanne — but there was not sustained abuse. I’m not sorry for slapping her,” he told the outlet from his mother’s home in Porto, Portugal.
Arantes previously admitted to slapping Rowling the night she left him.
“Yes. It is true I slapped her,” he again admitted in his most recent interview when asked about the incident. “But I didn’t abuse her.”
Rowling and Arantes were married from 1992 to 1995. They share daughter Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes, who was born in 1993. In 2001, the author remarried, this time to Neil Murray, who is mentioned in her essay.
“I managed to escape my first violent marriage with some difficulty, but I’m now married to a truly good and principled man, safe and secure in ways I never in a million years expected to be,” Rowling wrote.
She added: “However, the scars left by violence and sexual assault don’t disappear, no matter how loved you are, and no matter how much money you’ve made.”
Despite their relationship being under the microscope after Rowling’s essay was published Wednesday, Arantes told The Sun that he hasn’t bothered to read what his ex-wife wrote about him.
In the essay, Rowling explained that she never came forward with her stories because “they’re traumatic to revisit and remember," but she also made sure to note that in no way is she ashamed of what happened to her.
"I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor," she said. "This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.
"I also feel protective of my daughter from my first marriage," Rowling continued. "I didn’t want to claim sole ownership of a story that belongs to her, too. However, a short while ago, I asked her how she’d feel if I were publicly honest about that part of my life, ana she encouraged me to go ahead."