“The Most Gullible Man in Cambridge” Story Gets Even Stranger

Eugene Volokh:

The legally strange dimension: A claim that the magazine article author sexually harassed the subject of her article, apparently by “seek[ing] inappropriate personal and romantic intimacy with Plaintiff.”

See Hay v. New York Media LLC, a breach of contract, libel, and sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Bruce Hay (representing himself) against New York Media LLC, author Kera Bolonik, and New York Media’s lawyer David Korzenik. Here is an excerpt from the Complaint (you can read the underlying stories starting at p. 52):

[4.] Plaintiff Bruce Hay is a professor at Harvard Law School, where he teaches Civil Procedure and related subjects. In 2018, he found himself in an escalating legal conflict with two women he had loved — Maria-Pia Shuman, a cisgender white woman, and Mischa Shuman, a transgender woman of color …, who are married to each other. Plaintiff had been very close to the Shumans until 2017, when a painful rupture — facilitated by individuals who had an interest in driving them apart and stoking conflict between them — made them bitter adverSaries in court and in Title IX proceedings at Harvard.

[5.] In July 2018, Plaintiff agreed to work with New York’s editor, and with

Defendant Kera Bolonik on an article for the magazine about his dispute with the Shumans. The agreement was that the article, to be reported by Bolonik, would meet the high standards of professional investigative journalism long associated with the magazine….

[7.] Defendants did not produce the responsible piece of investigative journalism they promised, and made no real attempt to do so. Instead, they seized the opportunity to produce a sensational “True Crime” story, replete with vicious transphobic and misogynistic stereotypes, portraying the Shumans as scheming, deviant femmes fatales preying on a series of men, and Plaintiff as their credulous, hapless victim….