HOUSTON — Financial supporters of the Day For Night art and music festival are cutting ties with its founder amid allegations of sexual misconduct, the festival announced Sunday on Facebook.
Omar Afra, founder of Houston's annual Day for Night festival and publisher of Free Press Houston, has been accused of sexually misconduct with at least two women who he offered jobs to over a seven-year span.
Afra has denied the allegations, saying in a Facebook post he was "saddened, shocked, and embarrassed" for the developments. He said he would be stepping down from his positions at Day for Night and the Free Press "in the best interest" of their respective stakeholders.
"But I have no choice but to fight back against allegations that are patently false," Afra posted on Facebook. "It would do no justice to anyone for me to capitulate to lies and fabrications. There is so much more to know about this coordinated attempt but this is clearly not the forum to do so. If I am to move forward on a path of true integrity I need to apologize for what were bad decisions but fight falsehoods tooth and nail."
Day For Night said on Facebook it was "shocked and saddened" to hear of the sexual misconduct allegations against Afra.
"We stand with all victims of abuse," the post states.
"The creditors have deemed it appropriate to foreclose on the entity which owns the festival, effectively removing Omar Afra from any ownership or involvement in Day For Night from this day forward. Out of respect for these alleged victims, any announcement about the future of Day For Night will be made at a later date."
Some the most popular events Afra has led are the Free Press Summer Fest and the Westheimer Block Party.