Sexual Misconduct Claim Spurs Nobel Members to Step Aside in Protest

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Peter Englund in 2014. Mr. Englund was one of three members to withdraw from the Swedish Academy on Friday.

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Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Three members of the Swedish Academy, the body that selects the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, have withdrawn from its board to protest the handling of sexual misconduct allegations involving a man married to another member.

The members — the authors Peter Englund, Klas Ostergren and Kjell Espmark — said separately they would no longer participate in the academy’s work. Board seats are for life, so it is not technically possible to resign.

The Swedish Academy in November severed ties with a man whom it had helped financially in running a cultural club in Stockholm after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

Prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation, but later dropped parts of it without filing charges. Bjorn Hurtig, a lawyer who represents the man, said his client denied all the allegations.

The Swedish Academy has yet to make public the results of its own investigation. But Mr. Englund said in a blog post on Friday that a rift had grown on the board over the investigation and the steps taken by the academy’s permanent secretary in the case.

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