Naomi Schatz, an attorney who has represented accusers and defendants in other hearings, has noticed an increase in such cases, but she says it’s unusual. Defendants usually want to move on, especially if the case has not been made public. (Mr. Khan’s case had been covered by important news outlets, including the Times, before he filed suit.)
“Being involved in a defamation lawsuit is a huge emotional and financial burden,” she said, referring to actor Johnny Depp’s successful lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard. “No one wants to be in Amber Heard’s position, especially as a young college student without the financial resources or social capital.”
Khan, who is originally from Afghanistan, said he was satisfied with the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision. But he said he did not believe cross-examination would change the outcome of the hearing. He said there was too much public pressure at the height of the #MeToo movement.
Kahn was a neuroscience student at Yale, but never earned a bachelor’s degree. He is also suing the university for breach of contract and inflicting emotional distress on him. He is seeking $110 million in damages and the chance to earn his degree. “Yale stole my 20s,” he said.
But his larger mission is to eliminate campus Title IX hearings, and he said he travels around the country consulting and strategizing with other students accused of sexual assault. Ta. He said if he wins the defamation suit against her former classmate, he will spread her name and the facts about the case online. His name will continue to be associated with the case, and so should hers, he said.