Joss Whedon's ex-wife wrote a tell-all essay for TheWrap, in which she called her former husband a "hypocrite" who masquerades as a feminist. Kai Cole, who was married to Whedon for 16 years, slammed her ex and said he had "multiple affairs" over the course of their marriage.
Cole said that though she considers herself a private person, she felt the need to speak out because she believes Whedon misrepresents himself as a feminist. Cole said Whedon admitted his affairs to her, which started when he was working on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," but never came to terms with the "hypocrisy" of cheating on her while espousing feminist ideals.
"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 said. "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."
Cole accused Whedon of using their marriage to further his reputation.
She wrote, "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."
Cole also said that Whedon "wanted it all": to be married to her and to have affairs. She said he excused his behavior by pointing out it was symptomatic of a culture of masculinity. Cole wrote that Whedon 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!"
Cole said her self-esteem suffered as a result of Whedon's behavior and that now, after her divorce, she is slowly building it up again.
A representative for Whedon responded to the essay, 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."