Paragon of heterosexual romance Nicholas Sparks claims that not only were his comments about LGBTQ+ people misrepresented, they were "weaponized" against him.
On Wednesday, the Notebook author was appearing in court to defend himself against claims that he and the staff of Epiphany School of Global Studies, a private Christian school he founded in North Carolina, discriminated against anyone who didn't agree with the school's "religiously-driven, bigoted preconceptions," according to a lawsuit from former headmaster Saul Benjamin.
Court documents claim the school was guilty of institutional homophobia, stonewalling student-led efforts to form LGBTQ+ groups. Benjamin also alleged that Sparks and the board spread rumors about his mental state and that the school was kept predominantly white because Black students were deemed "too poor and can't do the academic work" by the school.
"I have been asked to tell the whole truth, not just part of the truth," Sparks said in court, according to The Daily Beast.
Sparks claims Benjamin has been "weaponizing" his comments about LGBTQ+ people and that his accuser misled Sparks and the board by telling them they needed to change their discriminatory employment policies to avoid losing accreditation.
"Personally, I'm for gay marriage, gay adoption," Sparks said, though in an email obtained by The Daily Beast, he claimed the former headmaster had "what some perceive as an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted."
In June, Sparks claimed it was never his intent "to be unresponsive to the needs of the LGBTQ or any minority community." He added, "In fact, the opposite is true, and I trust my actions moving forward will confirm that." He called himself an "unequivocal supporter" of the LGBTQ+ community,stating that he believes in equal employment regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
"I believe in the school's founding principle of loving God and thy neighbor as thyself, and that includes members of the LGBTQ community," he continued. "I believe in and unreservedly support the principle that all individuals should be free to love, marry and have children with the person they choose, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. This is and has always been a core value of mine."
Honestly, Sparks should be found guilty for if no other reason than the ending of The Notebook.