Nicholas Sparks is a rampaging bigot! At least, that’s what a former employee is accusing him of in a recent 47-page complaint.
The allegations stem from the North Carolina Epiphany School of Global Studies, which Sparks and his wife founded in 2006. Ex-headmaster Saul Hillel Benjamin claims that Sparks tried to block recruitment of black students, banned discussion of non-Christian faiths and discouraged faculty from helping bullied LGBT+ students.
According to "The Guardian," the lawsuit accuses Sparks of “engendering a veritable cauldron of bigotry toward individuals who are not traditionally Christian, and especially those who are non-white."
Benjamin claims he was often met with wrathful remarks while he served as CEO for the K-12 school. He is a Quaker of Jewish heritage and believes his work to diversify the school “enraged” Sparks and members of his board.
On one occasion, Sparks allegedly told Benjamin he brought “disrepute to Epiphany” by interacting with African Americans in a public setting.
Benjamin was also made to reveal his religious beliefs before the entire student body and their parents, who insulted and threatened him.
On Nov. 21, 2013, Benjamin claims he was locked in a room and not allowed to leave nor contact his wife or even an attorney unless he signed resignation papers. After his wife was finally allowed inside, Sparks reportedly told her Benjamin was being fired due to mental illness, and continued to spread news of “mental illness” around the community so that Benjamin could not secure another job.
Spark’s attorney denied the accusations. Sparks defended himself to his fans on Facebook, but the Epiphany school has denied comment, and the insults are still whirling around. The future of the lawsuit is uncertain, but it's important to understand that fame does not make you infallible.
After all, as Sparks himself has said, “You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.”