Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sebold, above, at the US Embassy in London in December 2017
She is best known for the 2002 novel The Lovely Bones – a chilling read of a girl’s tale of growing up as a victim of murder.
But now 27-year-old Alice Sebold has written a heartfelt statement on Facebook to apologise to a man she once believed to be her abuser.
She said she wished she could turn back the clock and apologise to Dan Stout, who was found not guilty last week of the rape and assault of a 15-year-old girl.
Sebold had written about Stout in her 2009 memoir “Lucky”.
“I sincerely apologise to you for having treated you with such appalling conduct,” she wrote in the message posted on Friday.
“You do not deserve that or any other conduct that I inflicted on you,” she continued.
Sebold had accused Dan of rape in an essay for the website Honest Girls, where she told of how she had been sent to live with him when her mother passed away.
But on Thursday, a judge cleared him of the charges, stating he had no memory of the alleged incident or anyone else raping Ms Sebold.
“The truth I had falsely believed for so long was false,” Ms Sebold wrote.
She also included a copy of Stout’s plea agreement, which included the following note: “To the greatest extent possible, I would like to express my sincere apology to these women and hopefully learn from this experience.”
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sebold’s memoir ‘Lucky’ was widely acclaimed for its portrayal of a character growing up in the aftermath of her mother’s death
Sebold gained fame with her 1997 novel “The Lovely Bones”, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Peter Jackson and Rachel Weisz.
In 2006, she became the youngest author to sell a million copies of a book in the US.
But her “sugar-coated” version of history led to hurtful accusations against her, she said on her personal Facebook page.
“I would wish I could turn back the clock and make up for my bad actions. I can see now that such an apology is useless because how can I undo the injustice?”