Scroll down to the UPDATE for corrections to Ms. Schuman's misrepresentations
Kristin Case, Prof. Ludlow's attorney, sent me the statement to which The Daily Northwestern article alludes. I post it below in its entirety, but have replaced the plaintiff's name with "P" for plaintiff.
Mr. Ludlow denies P's allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted her. Mr. Ludlow is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit or any lawsuit by P. That, alone, speaks volumes about this case. The authorities have never notified Mr. Ludlow of any criminal complaint nor has he ever been contacted by the police. He certainly has never been charged with any crime, now or ever. Moreover, to our knowledge, there has never been any recommendation by any Northwestern "committee" that Mr. Ludlow be terminated.
Mr. Ludlow did not assault P nor did he engage in any inappropriate conduct. We have corroborating evidence that P propositioned Mr. Ludlow. He refused her advances.
We are in possession of communications which show that P initiated friendly communications with Mr. Ludlow the day after and then again four and five days after the date on which she now alleges he assaulted her. Some of these communications were via social media. We also have text messages which show that P was very friendly with Mr. Ludlow on February 15, 2012--five days after the alleged assault--and that she, in fact, asked him to meet with her in person and then came to a conference he was attending, asking him to talk with her. At that time, Mr. Ludlow told her, as he had in the past, that he did not want to be romantically involved with her.
On April 24, 2012, P's previous attorneys sent a letter to Mr. Ludlow requesting a "settlement." Mr. Ludlow refused to enter into any type of settlement because he had done nothing wrong. We heard nothing more from P until we learned of the lawsuit she had filed against Northwestern.
We encourage the press and people reading the articles arising out of this complaint to remember that there are two sides to every story. We also encourage the press to engage in responsible reporting and not to inflame an already difficult situation. These allegations are very serious and will be dealt with in due course through the litigation process.
Ms. Case may be contacted at The Case Law Firm, LLC here in Chicago, 312-920-0400.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 24: I have sent the following letter to Emily Bazelon, the Slate editor supervising Ms. Schuman's article.
Dear Ms. Bazelon:
Ms. Schuman identifies you at her blog as the editor supervising her article from today about sexual harassment allegations against philosopher Peter Ludlow. That article includes the following paragraph:
[W]hy are influential voices in the philosophy community giving Ludlow a pass? University of Chicago professor Brian Leiter, for example, posted on his influential philosophy blog this statement from Ludlow’s attorney, with no corresponding statement from the student’s lawyer, and is cautioning his readers not to jump to conclusions. Sure, that’s always good advice, but what about the public findings of Slavin’s office?
Ms. Schuman here recklessly misrepresents my positions in this matter in the following respects:
1. The plaintiff's attorney did not send me a statement, Ludlow’s attorney did. (I did not even know who the plaintiff was at this time, since she had not been named in the news reports.) If the plaintiff's attorney had sent me a statement, I would have posted it, but for obvious reasons, the plaintiff’s attorney probably concluded that reaching an audience of philosophers was not as important for her. (Ms. Schuman never bothered to inquire with me about any of this.) More importantly, and unnoted by Ms. Schuman, I had linked repeatedly and described in detail news articles reporting the plaintiff's account of Ludlow’s conduct: the plaintiff’s allegations had been extensively covered on my blog at the point at which Ludlow’s attorney sent me her statement. I also provided a detailed description of the allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint and, when Northwestern’s answer finally appeared (after the posts Ms. Schuman links to, but before her article appeared), I provided a detailed account of Northwestern’s admissions.
2. At the time I correctly cautioned readers “not to jump to conclusions” (in response to a false statement that Ludlow had “sexually assaulted” the student), the only account of the “public findings of Slavin’s office” were contained in the plaintiff’s complaint, which I had noted at the time. (Slavin’s office did not confirm the sexual assault allegation, as you know.) For the obvious reasons, allegations in the plaintiff’s complaint do not constitute “public findings.” Once Northwestern’s Answer appeared, confirming Ms. Slavin’s findings, I noted that on the blog, but this happened subsequent to the post Ms. Schuman links to (but, again, prior to her article appearing).
3. If Ms. Schuman had done any research at all, she would have not only discovered that the timeline of my postings does not support her insinuations, but also that my blog has been making an issue of sexual harassment problems in the profession for years now. She might also have found out that I have been involved off-line in advising and helping victims of sexual harassment at other universities. That sexual harassment is a serious problem in professional philosophy is consistent with responsible and thorough coverage of the allegations in the Title IX lawsuit against Northwestern, which I have provided, but Ms. Schuman has not.
It is manifestly false that I have given “Ludlow a pass,” and Ms. Schuman’s misrepresentations in support of that falsehood are particularly reckless and malicious given that her article did not appear until February 24, well after all the other relevant postings on this matter appeared, as noted above.
I hope you will see to it that her article is promptly edited to remove the falsehoods and misrepresentations about my views and conduct in this matter.
Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence
Director, Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values
University of Chicago
1111 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637