In a lawsuit filed in New York, sister Miranda Pacchiana alleged that Savage sexually assaulted her “repeatedly over the course of several years.” According to a lengthy post on her blog, The Second Wound, the abuse began when he was just nine years old and she was only seven.
“As a child, this experience shook my sense of safety and crushed my self-confidence,” Pacchiana, a writer and social worker, recounted. “For decades afterward, I dealt with periods of depression and near-constant anxiety. These symptoms interfered with all aspects of my life, stunting my career aspirations, and robbing me of countless simple pleasures.”
While it’s been over 40 years since the alleged abuse started, Pacchiana said she’s finally able to take action against her older brother thanks to the Child Victims Act. According to the the NYC Bar, the law “extends the statute of limitations for a survivor of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases in New York.”
In his own statement to Variety, Savage has denied the allegations. “While I hope that my sister gets the help she needs to find peace, this needs to end,” said the 52-year-old TV personality. “For many years, she has relentlessly and falsely attacked me and other members of my family to anyone who will listen. By spreading numerous untrue stories about us in pursuit of a financial bonanza, she has tortured our entire family and estranged herself from all of us. I will fight this groundless and offensive lawsuit and work to put this to rest once and for all.”
Savage and Pacchiana’s mother, Karen Savage, has also issued a statement of her own, in which she condemns the lawsuit. “It makes me very sad to say this, but my daughter suffers from severe mental health challenges, and it’s devastating that she’s putting Adam and our entire family through this,” she said. “Adam is a good man, and I support him completely.”
According to the About Me blog page for Pacchiana, it’s not just her mother who hasn’t supported her claims. Pacchiana said that she had told relatives about Savage, but that their “behaviors left me feeling as though the abuse didn’t really matter.” She added, “Over time, I came to realize they viewed me as the problem for focusing on the abuse. Not the brother who had abused me.”
Savage co-hosted a total of 282 episodes of Mythbusters before the show was canceled by Discovery Channel in 2016. He currently hosts the Science Channel series Savage Builds.