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In the home of Alice Munro, a dark secret lurked. Now, her children want the world to know

Alice Munro’s husband sexually assaulted her youngest daughter. For nearly five decades, a conspiracy of silence haunted the family, and at times, tore them apart.

12 min read
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The sisters and Alice, from left: Jenny, Sheila, Alice and Andrea.聽聽

In 1992, Andrea Robin Skinner wrote her mother, Alice Munro, a letter that opened with a warning.聽

鈥淒ear Mom,鈥 it began. 鈥淧lease find a spot alone before you read this 鈥 I have been keeping a terrible secret for 16 years, Gerry abused me sexually when I was nine years old. I have been afraid all my life that you would blame me for what happened.鈥

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Andrea around age 9 with her cat, Benjy.聽

Andrew and Andrea.jpg

Andrew, left, and Andrea, right, when they were around 10 and 9 years old, respectively.聽

Andrea letter opening
Andrea letter part 1

An excerpt from Andrea’s letter to her mother.

Gerry response 1

An excerpt from Gerry Fremlin’s response to Andrea’s letter to her mother.

Gerry response part 2

An excerpt from Gerry Fremlin鈥檚 response to Andrea’s letter to her mother.

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Alice Munro in an April 1979 photo.聽


Andrea, photographed in Port Hope this month.

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The four siblings: from left to right, Andrea, Sheila, Jenny and Andrew.聽聽

Deborah Dundas

Deborah Dundas is an editor with the Star鈥檚 opinion section. She is based in B次元官网网址. Follow her on Twitter: .

Betsy Powell

Betsy Powell is a B次元官网网址-based reporter covering crime and courts for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: .

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