A New York Times profile of Gore Vidal,, who died last year, suggests that the often controversial author may have had sex with underage men.
The article, which focuses on the tension around Vidal’s estate, features eyebrow-raising remarks from the writer’s half sister, Nina Straight, and Vidal’s nephew, Burr Steers. Recalling the contentious relationship between Vidal and conservative icon William Buckley, Steers claims that Vidal feared information of his sexual activities with underage men might have been revealed as part of the feud.
Mr. Steers said Mr. Vidal was terrified that Mr. Buckley had evidence that Mr. Vidal had sex with underage men. “Jerry Sandusky acts,” Ms. Straight said, referring to the former Penn State assistant football coach convicted of child molestation.
Steers continued, “I know Buckley had a file on him that Gore feared. It would make sense if that material was about him having underage sex.”
The Times reports that other friends of Vidal doubt the allegations about underage sex, and there is no direct evidence to support the claim.
During his life, Vidal refused to put a label on his sexuality, but was said to have had relations with both men and women according to the New York Times' obituary from 2012.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Buckley's file on Gore Vidal was acknowledged by Vidal's son in The New Republic. In fact, it was Buckley's son, Christopher, who acknowledged the existence of the file.