Swedish Academy head quits Nobel body amid sexual misconduct scandal

Yearly meeting of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm in 2017

Her resignation comes amid criticism regarding how the organization, which has picked the victor of the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1901, handled an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by a man married to one of its members.

Danius announced her resignation hours after Sweden's king said of the withdrawal of the three members was "deeply unfortunate and risked seriously damaging" the Academy.

Academy members are appointed for life and resignations are extremely rare.

Frostenson is Arnault's wife, prompting some in Sweden to note that it is sexist to punish a wife for her husband's alleged abuses.

Arnault was banned in December by the Swedish Academy from attending a Nobel banquet after the Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter published allegations from 18 women claiming to have been assaulted or raped by him.

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Arnault has denied the accusations.

Last Friday, three members of the institution - Peter Englund, Klas Ostergren and Kjell Espmark - withdrew from its board after a vote to expel Frostenson failed. Even before last week, two of the academy's 18 members long ago stopped taking part and have not been replaced: One left in 1989 as part of a protest over the academy's response to threats made against the writer Salman Rushdie, and another stopped taking part in 2015, saying that she did not feel she fit in.

State prosecutors are continuing to investigate incidents related to the allegations, Reuters reports.

Hours after Danius' announcement, the Academy said Arnault's wife, Katarina Frostenson, had also chose to quit from her post on the board.

Neither Frostenson nor the academy would elaborate.

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Following the meeting, the institution issued a statement acknowledging that "trust in the Swedish Academy has been seriously damaged" and questioning whether its Nobel board could carry out the 2018 selection for the prize "in a credible manner", according to The Associated Press.

"The conflicts obscure the important work of this independent (cultural) institution", she said, vowing as culture minister that "I will do everything in my power to protect art and literature's freedom and position".

A male accused of sexual assault and leaks of secret information; a woman who takes the fall.

The Academy has also come under fire for the way it handled the allegations of sexual misconduct. "Now it is enough, we refuse to go back", Bah Kuhnke said.

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