Lingering Shadows (written in late January)

Having had a lot of time on my hands lately, something to which I am not accustomed, I have been able to follow links and read things I might normally skip. This interview with Alan Dershowitz fits in that category. I didn’t expect it to get me thinking about my current situation.

I am hopeful that I’ll be able to return to work when this investigation is completed. I did not harm a child. I would never harm a child. So many children have enough trauma in their lives, I can not bear the thought of adding to it.

Many friends (who are former and/or current colleagues) have been gratifyingly supportive when they have heard about my situation. They have been shocked. Angry. Astounded that such an allegation could be made towards me. It has been a gift to hear their reactions. I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear people say they believed me. Without any reservation or doubt.

Back to Dershowitz…

I do not know him. My impression of him, from interviews and newscasts, is not a positive one. I don’t know that I can articulate exactly why, but I don’t trust him or like him. As I said, I don’t know him so I don’t think my feelings toward him really matter much. Except this part of the interview got me wondering about that…

KELLY: …Because it goes beyond you having a relationship, serving as counsel to Jeffrey Epstein. One of his accusers has alleged that she was made to have sex with you when she was underage. I know you have denied that. I know you have denied it on NPR.

DERSHOWITZ: Not only denied it, I disproved it.

KELLY: But my question again is, is this going to be a distraction?

DERSHOWITZ: No. Let me be very clear – I have disproved it categorically. I’ve written a book about it. I’ve never refused to answer a question about it. The book is called “Guilt By Accusation.” I have an independent investigation by the former director of the FBI concluding that there is no basis for the charges and that they are false. So I have been completely vindicated.

I don’t believe him. I just don’t buy it. He can say he disproved it, but I haven’t read his book or seen the independent investigation and I just don’t find him trustworthy so this is just words to me. In addition, it’s awfully tough to prove a negative.

I am new to my school and to this community this year. Most of my colleagues did not know me before this year. None of the families in the community knew me. Even if it is decided that I did nothing wrong, will it matter? Or will there still be a shadow hanging over me? Will families be able to trust me after this?

Like so much about this situation, I can see multiple sides. I totally understand why families or colleagues would have a new view of me because of this allegation. Even if the ultimate finding is that I did nothing wrong, I can understand how people might question that. They haven’t known me long enough to have a firm sense of who I am. And that, like so much about this situation, causes me pain.


(written in late-January)

2 replies on “Lingering Shadows (written in late January)”

  1. katieeustis says:

    Oh, Jen….this is so heartbreaking to read and I 100% get your fear (being in a new building part of my time this year).

    • jenorr says:

      Katie, thank you for this understanding. I’ve only changed schools twice in my career so it isn’t something I’ve thought that deeply about. I’m far more aware of what a difference it makes now.

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