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.