The Columbia University professor accused of sexual harassment complained that U.S. anti-discrimination laws are “totally biased against the ‘privileged white males,’ ” according to an email revealed Friday in court.
Geert Bekaert is accused by former Columbia finance researcher Enrichetta Ravina of making unwanted sexual advances toward her – and then torpedoing her research when she rejected him.
Bekaert took the stand for the second day in Ravina’s $30 million Manhattan Federal Court sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the Ivy League university.
One of Ravina’s lawyers, Amy Donehower, brought up emails Bekaert allegedly sent to colleagues after she complained to school administrators around 2014.
“I am dealing with this harassment case. It’s so insane. If this is harassment, the Americans really are p——s,” Bekaert said in an email shortly after Columbia officials met with him.
At the meeting, Columbia admins told Bekaert to undergo communications training.
Bekaert then complained about the training in an email with his “basketball buddy,” according to correspondence shown in court.
“The lawyer I spoke to, a feisty 50-year-old, immediately told me that it was very clear I had been played and that the legal environment had gotten too far too the left and was getting abused left and right by people like Enrichetta,” according to an email attributed to Bekaert. In this email, Bekaert also described the lawyer he spoke with as “a woman who immediately saw through the case and was on my side.”
Bekaert, a native of Belgium, also complained to his basketball buddy about anti-discrimination laws in the U.S.
“The laws in this country are screwed up and totally biased against the ‘privileged white males,’ ” Bekaert wrote.
Bekaert also told his buddy that the Columbia-assigned lawyer who gave the communications training told him to be way of working with women.
“She also suggested that in the current environment people in my position should simply not work with women anymore, too risky,” his email said.
Bekaert’s emails have come up repeatedly during the trial — starting with opening statements.
David Sanford, who’s leading Ravina’s case, alleged in his opening that Bekaert described her in emails to colleagues as an “evil b—h, a f—–g b—h, an unbelievable b—h, a damn evil b—h, an evil b—h in action, (and) an incredible mean b—h …”