It’s a male student’s worst nightmare. No matter the proof, he’s not believed, but she is.
Lawyers for Ben Feibleman, a former journalism graduate student at Columbia University, are advising him not to discuss his pending lawsuit against the school after a woman accused him of sexual assault in 2016. Her name is being kept tightly under wraps and has not been reported by the media.
In what is being hailed as the “anti-male” lawsuit, Feibleman is suing the school for expulsion and gender bias. Lawyers filed the suit against Columbia Monday in Manhattan Federal Court.
Also under wraps is the complaint. A judge has temporarily sealed it pending possible redactions. Columbia University filed a motion to redact the complaint “based on the ground that [it] contains the name of the alleged sexual assault victim, photographs and other personal information.”
Motions are due by May 24. Responses are due by June 4.
Oddly, Feibleman is pictured in the New York Post with a big smile in a cap and gown. Columbia allowed him to go through the motions of graduation, but the school expelled him and is withholding his degree.
“My senior associate, James [Figliozzi], advises that you called to discuss Mr. Feibleman’s case,” attorney Kimberly Lau wrote The Mirror late Wednesday night. “Due to the pending litigation, I’ve advised my client not to discuss his case because all details are included in the complaint.”
The following is Feibleman’s legal statement:
Columbia University grievously mishandled this case. Columbia discriminated against Mr. Feibleman on the basis of his gender in violation of Title IX. The events of the evening in question and Columbia’s numerous missteps are clearly detailed in our lawsuit. Mr. Feibleman did not violate Columbia’s Gender Based Misconduct policies. In fact, Columbia acknowledged that she begged him for sex, he refused, and no sex occurred. Yet, Columbia continues to withhold his degree, despite the fact that he has met all the requirements for its conferral.
On the night in question, Feibleman claims she aggressively came on to him — and he refused her.
“Please, because I can’t let you go without it,” she allegedly said, referring to sex. Feibleman purports that she tried to give him oral sex and bit him in the process. Investigators maintain the woman was too plastered to consent to sex. Columbia is holding Feibleman responsible for what she claims was sexual assault.
Feibleman had the sense of mind to record 30 minutes of their exchange in her dorm room.
Still, Columbia is siding with her.
Columbia is no stranger to high-profile alleged sexual assault cases. If the past is any indication, Feibleman could have a rough road ahead.
In 2014, Emma Sulkowicz lugged a mattress around campus, calling it art after claiming to be a rape victim. Her now-well-known nickname became “Mattress Girl.” The details of the case are raw — in a blunt Facebook exchange, she wrote, “fuck me in the but [sic].” (The Text Of The Mattress Girl Lawsuit Will Shock You)
In that case, the accused party, Paul Nungesser, also tried to sue the university for discrimination on the basis of his gender.
The case settled for an undisclosed amount in 2017. (RELATED: Columbia Settles Lawsuit With Victim of ‘Mattress Girl’)
On its face, Feibleman’s case is similar.
Nungesser claimed Sulkowicz grew vengeful after he rejected her.