Haredi author and radio personality Chaim Walder was found dead in Petah Tikva Monday afternoon, after apparently taking his own life.
The 53-year-old writer and educator, best known for his series of children’s books, Children Talk About Themselves, was found dead at his son’s grave in Petah Tikva at the Segula Cemetery Monday afternoon.
Walder’s apparent suicide comes after a wave of allegations against him of sexual misconduct, including a report by Ha’aretz which cited the claims of 22 alleged victims, including underage boys and girls.
A special rabbinical court summoned Walder earlier this month to appear for a hearing into the matter.
Last month, Haaretz published an expose in which women testified that Walder had sexually abused them when they were teens. In response, the popular Eichlers Judaica bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, announced that it would remove all of Walder's books from its shelves, despite the significant financial loss involved.
Walder 's radio program on Kol Chai Radio was also suspended.
Walder's attorneys told Haaretz, "Our client absolutely denies all claims of inappropriate behavior on his part, and especially that which was published in the article. These are false claims based on crass lies, which are equivalent to a literal blood libel."
According to them, throughout the years Walder fought for children who suffered violence and abuse, "and as a result of this, there were several who joined up together with the goal of hurting him, and we have proofs of some of these foolish attempts to incriminate our client."
"This article represents a direct continuation of this [issue]. which is sourced in a false claim filed against him many years ago and which was closed as quickly as it was filed."