The ex-wife of screenwriter and director Joss Whedon has published a scathing essay accusing him of being a “hypocrite preaching feminist values”.

In an article published on Sunday (August 20th) for The Wrap, Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole, a producer and actress herself, accused the director of having both physical and emotional affairs with other women during their 17-year marriage, including on the set of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ back in the Nineties.

“Fifteen years later, when he was done with our marriage and finally ready to tell the truth, he wrote me, ‘When I was running ‘Buffy,’ I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt 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’,” Cole wrote. “But he did touch it.”

Whedon married Cole back in 1995, having two children together, but became estranged from her five years ago and finalising the divorce in 2016.

“Later, after he confessed everything, he told me, ‘I let myself love you. I stopped worrying about the contradiction. As a guilty man I knew the only way to hide was to act as though I were righteous. And as a husband, I wanted to be with you like we had been. I lived two lives’,” she continued.

Joss WhedonJoss Whedon

“When he walked out of our marriage, and was trying to make ‘things seem less bewildering’ to help me understand how he could have lied to me for so long,” Cole wrote. “He said, ‘In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We’re taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire - specifically sexually - and I was pulling off both!’”

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Whedon has built a public reputation as being a feminist ally, using his platform for the last 20 years to advocate for feminism and the importance of men getting involved with the movement. However, Cole’s letter has argued that the reality behind the image is very different.

“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,” she wrote.

“He deceived me for 15 years, so he could have everything he wanted. I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women’s rights, committed to our marriage, and to the women he worked with. But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a shield, both during and after our marriage, so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist.”

A spokesperson for 53 year old Whedon responded to the same publication, saying: “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.”

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