Borderlands doors
Borderlands Books. 866 Valencia St.

Borderlands Books owner Alan Beatts said on Thursday he will remain with his Valencia Street business following allegations that he attempted to have sex with his daughter and physically assaulted his ex-girlfriend. 

In his post on the platform Discord Thursday night, Beatts also attempted to discredit his accusers and the podcaster who originally publicized the allegations earlier this month. However, Beatts never explicitly denied the allegations. 

“Right now, I cannot see any way Borderlands can possibly operate without me,” Beatts wrote on Discord on Thursday at 11 p.m. to a group of Borderlands supporters. Discord is a platform where people can create communities around topics like gaming and fiction novels. 

Beatts wrote his post only hours after Mission Local published an article on Thursday. Our article detailed allegations that he tried to have sex with his daughter, “DoveStep” Beatts, in her apartment following the Pride Parade in 2012, and that he forcibly grabbed his ex-girlfriend’s hair and held a knife to her throat in a New Orleans hotel room in 2016.

The allegations were first aired a week earlier on The Horror Show with Brian Keene, a podcast that covers the horror fiction industry. 

Following that broadcast, Beatts began losing support. And public outcry against the bookstore owner only grew louder following Mission Local’s story. 

“I have long supported Borderlands Books in San Francisco with great passion,” wrote Sarah Gailey, a Hugo Award-winning author, on Twitter on Thursday. “I can no longer do that in good conscience.” 

“I believe the victims who have come forward,” Gailey continued, encouraging others in the science fiction and fantasy community to pay attention. 

In his only comments since the allegations became public, Beatts never explicitly denied the allegations. He said only that he “wholeheartedly supports the changes happening as our society recognizes that victimized women have been dismissed and discriminated against for far too long.” 

“But, there are prices to be paid for those changes and, sometimes, despite our best intentions, the bill is presented to the wrong person.” 

He also called on his audience to decide whether he’s the kind of person who would sexually assault his daughter and physically assault a romantic partner. He also asked people to consider whether his current and longtime romantic and business partner, Jude Feldman, “could either miss, ignore, or stand aside while I abused people.” 

Feldman did not respond to Mission Local’s inquiries. When Mission Local called the store on Tuesday, an employee who gave the name “Adel” answered and said Feldman was not available. When asked what she thought of the allegations against Beatts, Adel declined to comment. 

Alan Beatts, owner of Borderlands Books working on his new shop at 1377 Haight St in March 2019. Photo by Lydia Chávez.

Although Beatts said he would not defend himself and intended to “remain silent,” he did detail the dynamics of his relationships with his accusers. 

He said that the “ex-girlfriend,” who asked to remain anonymous in Mission Local’s article, had actually been in a relationship with him and Feldman for more than 10 years. “Something that Jude and I both find usual is how Jude’s presence in our relationship has been erased, both in our ex-girlfriend’s accusation and in other people’s perception,” Beatts wrote, explaining that the relationship ended “very badly” in late 2018. 

He also described the relationship with his daughter as “difficult and fraught.” He wrote that it ended in 2015 after he asked her to “cover her own expenses or perform adequately in college.” 

Beatts also said that both the ex-girlfriend and his daughter were close when he was in contact with them. 

When asked about Beatts’ post, both of the women making the allegations did not deny the relationship dynamics Beatts presented. They said they stood by their comments and allegations. 

Beatts also fired a shot at the host of the podcast, Brian Keene, also the author of the best selling zombie novel The Rising, who first aired the allegations. Beatts denied that he and Keene were friends — as Keene had conveyed on his podcast before airing the allegations. Beatts brought up a case from the “early 2000s” when Keene had purportedly been unfaithful to one of Beatts’ friends. That is when the friendship ended, according to Beatts.

“This is a poor attempt to obfuscate,” Keene wrote a statement that he tweeted out on Sunday, noting that he and his ex-wife had “made peace” with the incident that purportedly took place 15 years ago. 

Keene emphasized that he stood by his podcast’s coverage of the allegations, and said he had done a signing at Borderlands in 2016, following the publication of his book, End of the Road

Finally, Beatts said in his Discord post that he would not divest from Borderlands. He said he’s wanted to do so for many years, “but that’s a long process and one that’s barely begun.” 

“Right now, I cannot see any way Borderlands can possibly survive without me,” Beatts wrote. “I’ve discussed this with Jude and she agrees.” 

“So, regardless of any other considerations,” Beatts continued, “that’s not an option.”

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. I used to hate this guy because he resented the minimum wage going up. And then later because he scammed a bunch of money off of people for this premise. Now, wow.

  2. You don’t “have sex” with your own daughter. It’s called rape or incest.

    Many commenters in this thread are rape apologists. Sexual assault is usually impossible to “verify”, so many choose to discredit survivors due to “lack of evidence” in a culture where rape and sexual assault is incredibly commonplace, and virtually all women have experienced it in some way.

    As if women and survivors just throw out deeply trauamatizing stories about extremely intimate sexual violence and put their own selves up to scrutiny, threats and more violence just to be “vindictive” towards men.

    Rape culture in the backwards USA .

    1. well said. People want to clamor about rape culture when it’s far away and doesn’t serve them a comfortable spot for browsing books or drinking coffee.

      But let’s face it, if you can’t take a stand against rape culture in San Francisco of all places, how can you expect anyone to fight it elsewhere?

  3. Borderlands books and Borderlands coffee have always been bigger than the owner.

    I hope this doesn’t finally destroy it.

    1. Why not? Clearly they aren’t “larger” than the owner. We can find books from people who don’t engage in (alleged) sexual assaults, and coffee we can make at home or buy – at $5 a cup – from dozens of other places.

  4. His non-defense says it all. It’s the behavior of someone who knows he has other skeletons in the closet and is afraid that he will spark more disclosures. Any innocent guy would vehemently deny trying to have sex with their own daughter.

    What he does present are two relatively transparent attempts to throw people off the track:
    1) An appeal to people to think through their own personal experiences with him to decide whether he would do such things. But unfortunately that’s not how any of this works. Abusers don’t go after everyone they encounter; they target specific people, and can be really wonderful to the rest. He was always pleasant to me whenever he was the one to ring up my books. But I understand that that’s merely anecdotal and says nothing about how he is with others.

    2) A tacit threat that Borderlands cannot exist without him there, which tugs at the heartstrings of everyone who genuinely love Borderlands (I’m one). And yes, I am uncertain whether Borderlands would have the same magic under a different owner. You can tell who really pays attention to the SF/F field and who doesn’t. That said, he’s certainly not the only one who does, and it’s not like I can’t find out about books and authors in other ways. And his ex-employee’s allegations of him using the business to prey on vulnerable people are concerning. So again, I will not patronize Borderlands anymore while he is owner.

  5. I believe women who come forward. At the same time, let’s verify these claims before we pass judgment.

    1. These were not reported as facts, but as allegations. Beatts was given ample opportunity to deny the allegations and give his side of the story. Even if he did not want to prolong the misery of a drawn out “he said she said” thing, he could have at least flatly denied the allegations. It’s not hard. Others do it almost every day. He refused, even in his rather long, wandering post.

  6. Will Beats be suing for defamation? Why are these allegations and claims being reported as fact? As if the few remaining small businesses in SF don’t have enough problems….

    1. This isn’t a small business problem? It’s a problem that’s pretty specific to one person…

    2. Relax, Frankie – you don’t need to talk down to Camie – show some respect! Consider the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. The truth is, Mission Local has no ‘story’ here – just a ‘public statement’ is all they have “reported”. It’s a sad day when people jump on a bandwagon of hate over something that has so many missing pieces that it reads like a gossip column. When the only defense of a story is “You weren’t there and neither was I?”, well? What have we got here? Not much. By the way, Mission Local, you have a typo – you wrote that they find it ‘usual’ rather than ‘unusual’.

  7. I’ve know Alan for many years, long before Borderlands. We worked together in bars in the city. Never have I seen any inkling of abusive behavior towards women. He was always the one stepping in to help, not harm. I find it very difficult to believe these allegations.

    1. It’s awesome for you that he never tried to sexually or physically assault you! But what does that have to do with his relationships with intimate partners or his daughter, clearly neither of which you are? Just because YOU didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, and you are really in no position to dismiss the accusations of two of the people who were closest to him in his life. Four what it’s worth, I’ve known him for years, too, and I absolutely believe both of these women… But even if I did not, it wouldn’t make their claims less valid because I was not there… Neither were you!