HOUSTON — Allegations of sexual misconduct against a prominent festival founder may cause a ripple effect through Houston's entertainment scene. One-by-one, women are coming forward to accuse Omar Afra, the 40-year-old founder of the Day for Night art and music festival.
Two different women signed affidavits offering graphic details of their respective experiences spanning seven years. In each, the allegations involve some similar specifics regarding alcohol, weed, job offers and unwanted sexual advances.
Day for Night financial backers say they're shocked and saddened and have completely cut ties with Afra over these allegations.
"We stand with all victims of abuse," the organization posted on Facebook. " The creditors have deemed it appropriate to foreclose on the entity which owns the festival, effectively removing Omar Afra from any ownership or involvement from this day forward."
Afra, also the guiding force behind Free Press Summer Fest and the Westheimer Block Party, denies the allegations calling the accusations against him coordinated lies and fabrications. As a result, he says his wife and kids have been traumatized and he's received death threats.
He posted "in the recent years I have veered away from what I knew was right and caused pain to those around me."
While that's no admission of guilt, Afra does admit he's been in therapy for more than a year, "focusing on the real me; a man who loves his family and wants to do right by people."
He vows to fight the allegations.
Meanwhile, the festival's plans are uncertain. Day for Night was last held in December.
"Out of respect for these alleged victims, any announcement about the future of Day for Night will be made at a later date," the creditors posted.
Based on Afra's reaction to the accusers' affidavits, we know their respective truths are about as different as day and night.