This evening, Owen Turtenwald issued a vague statement saying that he had “made terrible mistakes” but did not directly address the sexual harassment allegations that caused him to leave Magic: the Gathering five months ago. This statement is the first time he has spoken publicly about the situation since going silent in March.

Turtenwald returned to gaming on Monday to stream Hearthstone and declined to discuss the sexual harassment allegations or why he had left Magic. But he says that he “closely followed the discussion surrounding his return,” which was intensely negative and critical of his lack of acknowledgment of the allegations or any apology, and that he felt that he “must address the elephant in the room.”

Owen Turtenwald’s statement on Twitter.

“I have been disrespectful to women,” Turtenwald said. “Many times. I have made terrible mistakes for which I am very sorry.”

“It was hard to admit that I faced real struggles with mental health and alcoholism,” he continued, “but I am receiving professional help.”

In his statement, Turtenwald never addresses what kind of things he did or is accused of doing, instead choosing to vaguely describe them as “disrespectful” or “terrible mistakes.” He also seems to try and shift some of the blame for his actions onto his use of alcohol rather than taking full responsibility. “I believed because alcohol was involved [my actions were] harmless,” he said, “and that is absolutely false.”

Neither does Turtenwald apologize directly to his victims, rather, he couches his apology in terms of his “friends, fans, supporters, gamers everywhere, and most importantly everyone who I hurt.” A source tells Hipsters of the Coast that Turtenwald hasn’t reached out to any of the victims that they are in contact with as of the publication of this article.

UPDATE: Reid Duke, one of Turtenwald’s closest friends and a fellow member of the “Peach Garden Oath” team, responded to Turtenwald’s tweet the next morning. “True healing will come from actions rather than from words,” Duke said. “In the last 11 months I’ve watched Owen make great strides in becoming a healthier person. I believe in my friend’s ability to better himself and become a positive influence on those around him.”

The tweet was Duke’s first statement on the subject, having declined to speak publicly about Turtenwald and the allegations until now.

Reid Duke’s response on Twitter.

Allegations of Sexual Harassment

On March 27, 2019, just one day before the start of the Mythic Invitational, Wizards of the Coast announced that then-Magic Pro League member Owen Turtenwald would not be participating in the event. No other details were given other than that he would be replaced by recently-retired Pro Tour Commentator Brian David-Marshall.

It was later reported by Kotaku that Turtenwald had been accused of having “exhibited a pattern of predatory behavior toward female Magic players that spans several years.” However, Kotaku could not confirm if those accusations were the reason why Turtenwald was removed from the Mythic Invitational.

But a month later, ahead of Mythic Championship II London, Turtenwald was removed from the Magic Pro League and Mythic Championship II invite list. By then, Turtenwald had removed all mentions of Magic from his Twitter profile, deleted all of his tweets, and renamed his Twitch channel from OwenTMagic to OwenTurtenwald. He hadn’t streamed and had been silent on social media since he was disinvited from the Mythic Invitational until Monday’s announcement about his participation in Hearthstone and today’s statement.

Hipsters of the Coast has reached out to Owen Turtenwald multiple times for comment. He hasn’t returned our messages.

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