Border Town writer Eric Esquivel finally broke his silence after he was accused of sexual misconduct by Cynthia Naugle. Esquivel released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter following the cancellation of Border Town by DC Comics.
Not only was Border Town cancelled, but the scheduled release of Border Town #5 and Border Town #6 will not be published and all copies are being made returnable to DC Comics. DC’s cancellation of the series came after both artist Ramon Villalobos and colorist Tamra Bonvillain released statements stating they were quitting the project due to the accusations made against Esquivel.
Border Town was the debut series for the revamped Vertigo Comics.
Esquivel’s statement to The Hollywood Reporter indicates he has been falsely accused by Naugle:
“I was recently accused of misconduct by a former romantic partner. Not recent misconduct. Misconduct which allegedly happened many years ago. Out of respect for her and our prior relationship, I will not publicly name names.
I’ve taken a few days to respond, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t talking over anyone. We’re in the midst of a very important cultural conversation right now. One I wholeheartedly believe in.
Never in my life did I expect that I would become one of the accused. I will not speculate as to her motivation for making these reckless allegations, but I want to make it clear that they are false. Though our relationship was unconventional, we always treated one another with dignity and respect.
I heavily encourage, and will fully cooperate in, any forthcoming independent investigation of these claims, which I am confident will show that I have been falsely accused.
I have been notified that DC Vertigo has canceled the book I was working on. My heart breaks for the book’s supporters, and my creative collaborators. They don’t deserve to be negatively affected by this unfortunate situation.”
Naugle responded via Twitter with a statement from her lawyer Stephen T. Portell of Portell Law.
I can’t tell all of you thank you enough for your support.
I’m no longer afraid of Eric Esquivel.
To all the women he’s abused, manipulated, or had inappropriate behavior with, he no longer has power over us. pic.twitter.com/PRtpP5QesS
— Cynthia Naugle (@TenTimesATiger) December 15, 2018
The statement reads:
“Portell Law, P.C. represents Mrs. Cynthia Naugle – a victim who has taken the courageous step of coming forward to share her story. Thr horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of Eric M. Esquivel must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
The outpouring of support for our client is heartening. Mrs. Naugle wants to thank you all for your compassion and understanding. She is especially grateful to those who have shared their own stories of Esquivel’s abuse.
Portell Law understands that victims of sexual assault that take risks when they come forward. One of those risks is that the abuser will respond in a way that reopens old wounds. This is especially true of women who were physically attacked and subject to repeated threats and emotional manipulation.
Yesterday, Mr. Esquivel released a public statement that questioned our client’s motivations and the delay in reporting his crimes. He even suggested his abuse was part and parcel of a “romantic” relationship. This man needs help, and we hope he receives it soon. His public statement shows no comprehension of his crimes, including those committed against other victims who have since come forward.
Our client is directing all future inquires to Portell Law. Our client will not exchange words with Mr. Esquivel. Instead, she will use her time and energy to stand up for other victims. Portell Law is proud to help her in this effort.”
Naugle would add on Twitter that she could’t stand seeing Esquivel represent latinx culture on Border Town.
I know the #latinx community is betrayed by Eric M Esquivel.
I’m a latina, and couldn’t stand seeing that man TRY to represent my culture.
There are many of us in the community that are good people and more talented and will rep brown people properly.
— Cynthia Naugle (@TenTimesATiger) December 17, 2018
What do you make of Esquivel’s statement? What about Naugle’s response? Do you think DC Comics preemptively canceled Border Town based on as of yet unproven accusations or did they make the right decision in case the accusations end up being true? How do you think DC Comics should have handled this situation?