Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Statement Concerning Allegations By Heidi Howkins Lockwood

Last week, Heidi Howkins Lockwood publicly accused me of groping her after a colloquium at Yale in October 2007.

I categorically and unequivocally deny having groped Lockwood on that occasion or on any other.

Lockwood asserts that I was so drunk that night that I would have been unable to find my way to my hotel, apparently implying that this is why I had "no recollection" of groping her. Both claims are false. I have vivid memories of the entire evening. When I deny groping Lockwood, it is not because I do not remember doing so; it is because I positively remember not doing so.

When Lockwood confronted me with these allegations (almost six and a half years later), I did apologize to her, but not because I thought I might have done what she alleged. She was clearly distraught, and it is possible to apologize for the role you played in causing someone to be upset, even if you know that you did not do anything wrong. This is something that decent people do. My apology was intended in that spirit, as an expression of sympathy, not an admission of guilt.

Let me emphasize that I am not accusing Lockwood of lying. Nonetheless, she is mistaken. I did not grope her on that occasion or any other.

Questions and Answers About the Lockwood Allegations

A few people have asked me not unreasonable questions about my response to the Lockwood allegations. Here they are, with answers.
  • Why did you wait so long to issue a denial?
    Please try to imagine being publicly accused of such a thing yourself. I was shocked, upset, angry, and confused. It took me three days to calm down enough to think straight.
  • Lockwood claims you took no interest in her work after this incident.
    The following spring, I read and commented on material that Lockwood intended to include in her dissertation: a formal argument in provability logic. I had no obligation to do this. She was not (and never has been) my student, and I was not on her committee. Lockwood has not shared any of her work with me since that time. Over the next few years, though, I did occasionally correspond with her about sexual harassment and related issues in the profession. But I stopped having any contact with Lockwood in March 2014, when she accused George Boolos of molesting her.
  • Why would Lockwood fabricate such a story about you?
    If "fabricate" means "intentionally invent something in order to deceive", which it does, then I repeat that I am not accusing Lockwood of lying. Why would she have such a false belief about me? That is an interesting question, but she has many views about things in this vicinity that I personally find it difficult to believe are true. (Again, I'm not saying she's lying about those things, either.) And many of them concern a man about whom Lockwood clearly has very strong feelings and with whom I am closely identified. Someone once joked that I'm George Jr. (I wish.) Why Lockwood decided to share all this stuff with someone she barely knew, that's what I find puzzling.
  • Do you have anything else to say?
    People who know me know that I not only did not grope Lockwood, but that I would not and could not do such a thing. If you don't believe me, ask them.
I shall have no more to say about this matter publicly (though I may add a question or two, and already have). If you are a friend of mine, and would like to talk about it, however, feel free to contact me. As always!

Further Remarks on the Lockwood Allegations

Elsewhere, I have categorically and unequivocally denied Heidi Howkins Lockwood's allegation that I groped her in October 2007. Of course, I do not expect people to take my denial at face value. Anyone can deny anything. Well, there is a great deal more I could say here. For now, however, I offer just the following. My intention is to offer evidence that Lockwood is not a credible accuser. She has made many other "interesting" claims about her own experience of sexual misconduct.