COPENHAGEN – The Swedish Academy, whose members select the winner of the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature, announced on Friday that one of its members under investigation was responsible for leaking the name of the 2018 winner prior to its announcement and has now left the institution.
Poet Katarina Frostenson agreed to voluntarily resign from seat number 18 of the Swedish Academy, which she had held since 1992, and waived any further court actions regarding the investigation undertaken by the institution in the past months seeking to establish if she had breached confidentiality agreements.
“Katarina Frostenson now chooses to leave the Swedish Academy,” the academy said in a statement.
Frostenson, 65, and her disgraced photographer husband Jean-Claude Arnault, jailed last year for rape, are at the epicenter of the uproar unleashed within the academy that culminated in a wave of resignations and the cancellation, for the first time in seven decades, of the Nobel award for Literature.
The academy has agreed to assign Frostenson a monthly stipend of 12,875 Swedish kronen ($1,450) and an undisclosed sum to maintain her rented apartment, property of the Swedish Academy.
Last fall, Frostenson refused to leave voluntarily until the academy issued a report that concluded she had broken her confidentiality agreements after she leaked to her husband the name of the Nobel winner, among other breaches of confidence.
Frostenson is the sixth Academic to leave since last April: two have been re-admitted and four new appointments have been made, leaving only three vacancies from a total of 18 academy seats.
The scandal broke in Nov. 2017 when “Dagens Nyheter,” Sweden’s leading newspaper, published a story regarding a sexual attack allegation made by 18 women against a “cultural personality” close to the academy and later identified as Arnault.
The academy put its relationship with the Frenchman on hold and ordered an audit, which concluded that leaks had taken place and the academy’s financial support for Arnault’s literary club – of which his wife was a co-owner – infringed the institution’s impartiality rules.
The academy has yet to announce its plans for this year’s Nobel prize.
Last month, Arnault was sentenced by a Stockholm appeals court two and a half years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of rape committed in Oct. 2011.