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Saturday, December 3, 2022

A Man Close To The leftist elite Embroiled In An Affair Of Alleged Sexual Abuse

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv.si

The public has recently learned about the affair of alleged sexual abuse related to the 28-year-old Dušan Josip Smodej, a Novo mesto cultural activist and representative of the Fotopub Association for Contemporary Culture (Društvo za sodobno kulturo Fotopub) from Dilančeva Street 1, Novo mesto. One of his alleged victims claims that he tied her to a radiator after giving her the drug GHB, while Smodej, on the other hand, claims that he was the victim of a blackmailer and strongly denies all allegations of sexual violence. Following a public petition and posts exposing his behaviour, the publishing house Beletrina has already terminated its cooperation with Smodej.

“Yes, I was one of his victims; he tied me to a radiator. He put GHB in my drink. Even though I begged him to let me go, I woke up with his cock inside of me,” reads one of the testimonies. The mainstream media have largely remained silent about the affair, but on Saturday, the newspaper “Slovenske novice” (“Slovenian News”) broke the story. Namely, last week, a new profile was made on the popular social network Instagram, called “Against the Violence of Dušan Smodej (“Proti nasilju Dušana Smodeja”), where a bunch of anonymous testimonies of those who allegedly had a bad experience with him was published.

The profile in question has published a bunch of stories in which Dušan Josip Smodej is accused of sexually abusing young girls. Among other things, lots of them mentioned GHB, the so-called date rape drug, which is used to make the victim practically unconscious so that they are unaware of what is happening after taking the drug. There was also a story published which accused Smodej of repeatedly financially blackmailing certain individuals. “I deny all allegations of sexual violence. If anyone can prove otherwise, I urge them to file a criminal complaint against me,” Smodej told the newspaper “Slovenske novice,” adding that he had been told by the police that there have been no criminal charges filed against him. A source told the aforementioned media outlet that a criminal charge was filed against the artist at the beginning of the year, but the Ljubljana police station said that they had not received any reports against him due to the drugging or further abuse of anyone.

You can read more allegations in Slovenian here, but there are the translations of a few of them: “Hi, my friend showed me this profile, and I was so shocked. I do not know Dušan that well, but I did talk to him a few years ago – luckily, nothing came out of it. But I do know that he is often involved in the organisation of BDSM parties and such in Ljubljana. There are lots of drugs and other things present there.”

Another person wrote: “Hi, let me add my story too. He wrote to me when I was 16 years old, asking for sex. I had to block him because he just would not leave me alone. He is also very active on the application FeLiife, my friend met up with him when she was still underaged, and he did things to her that were way too hardcore for her at that age (I will not go into detail, as I don’t want anyone to see this and figure out who is it about), and afterwards, he behaved like the biggest jerk to her. She said that when she thinks about it now, she feels disgusting. He has the username “PrinceProspero” on FetLife, or something like that (I asked around), you could maybe post something from there, if his profile is still active. I am glad you created this page; I fully support it. I will mention it to my friend as well, and I hope she will be brave enough to share her story.”

A third person wrote: “I started to occasionally hang out with Dušan consensually, but I quickly started getting a weird feeling around him. He definitely does not understand the meaning of the word ‘no,’ and when he is drunk or using drugs, he is very pushy. During the time of us hanging out, he did lots of things I did not consent to, or he even forced me to do things, and I still have visible scars from it. I am sure that lots of girls have had bad experiences with him, as he talked to me about it more than once. But I broke off all contact with him after I lent him some money and realised that I would never see it again.”

And a man wrote the following: “I once got drinks with Dušan and an acquaintance of mine. Dušan bragged about how he sipped GHB to a girl’s drink, as she was annoying him and everyone else at the party, and then he watched her become practically comatose. Then he laughed about it, obviously waiting for approval – which he did not get. I am glad that you created this page and hope that justice will be served.”

Smodej is known as a representative of the Fotopub Association for Contemporary Culture from Novo mesto, and according to the web portal Prava, the association also has a branch in Ljubljana, on Tivolska Street, where “debauched” parties are often held. The web portal in question also reports that Smodej also took part in Friday’s protests against the former government of Janez Janša. It is certainly interesting that the pictures on the Festival Ljubljana page, in which Smodej appeared, have apparently been deleted. In light of the recent allegations, it should also be noted that Smodej is a signatory of the letter of support for people who have been raped and have experienced humiliation in court proceedings, which was written by the non-governmental organisation the Institute of the 8th of March (“Inštitutu 8. marec”).

Although, in recent years, Fotopub has opened a branch office in the capital and received as much as 77 thousand euros in public funding, no data on its activities are available online. Smodej only explained in an article that was published in the printed edition of the “Slovenske novice” newspaper that between the years 2019 and 2022, Fotopub has carried out 33 “various exhibition, performance and educational projects.” Investigative journalist Bojan Požar also wrote on Twitter that, according to one of his sources, Smodej is a friend of the well-known organiser of the protests, Jaša Jenull, and the current Minister of Culture Asta Vrečko from the Left party (Levica), but that any photos of the two of them have promptly been deleted from social media in recent days.

Since a person is innocent until proven guilty, it is up to the judicial authorities to decide who is telling the truth. In the past, accusations of sexual assault have been reported in the media in the field of culture, politics and even in professional academia. Among others, the film director and actor Matjaž Tribušon, as well as the professor at the Faculty of Arts, Igor Pribac, have both been accused of sexual abuse. A few days ago, we also touched on the politically motivated media accusations against Slavko Kmetič, alleging that he sexually assaulted POP TV journalist Katarina Keček a few years ago. Kmetič rejected the allegations, saying that they were “pure lies and a pure construct.”

As the profile has appeared on the social network Instagram with various serious allegations against someone who is also listed as a creator at the Centre for Creativity (“Center za kreativnost”) and who is apparently a close collaborator of the Ministry of Culture, who recently took part in an interview with the current Minister of Culture, we decided to ask the Ministry for their comment on the whole matter. We will publish their reply as soon as we receive it.

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