Skúli Sigurdur Ólafsson, the son of late Bishop Ólafur Skúlason and brother of Gudrún Ebba Ólafsdóttir, who accuses their father of sexual abuse in the recently-released book Ekki líta undan, released a statement along with another of his sisters and their mother, Skúlason’s widow, on Monday saying that Ólafsdóttir has false memories of the alleged abuse.
“It coincides in no way with our memories,” Ólafsson said, adding that no other member of the family recognizes the atmosphere described by Ólafsdóttir, that Skúlason had tyrannized the household, visir.is reports.
On RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós last night, Ólafsson said that he is convinced that his sister truly believes she was abused by their father. “My sister is perfectly sincere in her descriptions. There is so much conviction behind her words that she isn’t lying.”
When the interviewer, Sigmar Gudmundsson, asked Ólafsson how these two statements add up, he replied that he doubted her memories were real.
“It is a known phenomenon called false memories,” he stated, explaining that these can be created in the minds of middle-aged people during conversational therapy, which can continue to produce false memories.
However, Ólafsson was not willing to state with absolute certainty that his sister had never been sexually abused by their father, although he is certain that the home described by his sister in the book does not coincide with his experience of it.
When asked about the other women who have accused the late bishop of sexual violations and have received compensation from the National Church of Iceland, Ólafsson said he couldn’t comment on their cases other than to say he is sorry that their accusations were never investigated by police.
Ólafsdóttir has remarked that she chooses not to comment on her family’s allegations.
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