'Lewinsky' Means Harassment

ByABC News
February 2, 2001, 9:54 AM

N E W   P A L T Z, N.Y., Feb. 2 -- A federal judge has decided that callinga woman "Monica Lewinsky" can be considered sexual harassment.

Inbal Hayut brought a suit against the State University of NewYork at New Paltz and professor Alex Young, who she claims createda "sexually hostile environment" by repeatedly calling her by thename of the former White House intern.

"Young observed that [Hayut] wore the same color lipstick asMonica Lewinsky, and made comments such as, 'How was your weekendwith Bill,' and 'Shut up, Monica. I'll give you a cigar later.' Allthese comments were made in front of the entire class," NorthernDistrict Judge David Hurd wrote in his decision that allowed thesuit to proceed.

Hayut said the professor who taught two of her classes in 1998 ignored her pleas to stop the name-calling and that the schoolrefused to take any action.

As a result, she said, she was "overcome with shame andhumiliation," and "unable to concentrate." Her gradesdeteriorated, and she left the school in the spring.

"She's a sweet, shy girl and this was very difficult for her,"said her lawyer, William Martin. "Some of the students didn't knowher by any other name but Monica."

Lewinsky's spokeswoman, Juli Nadler, said, "Monica is dismayedthis incident ever occurred, but that was in 1998, when her namewas linked to presidential scandal. It's February 2001, and whenpeople hear her name now, they think Monica Lewinsky handbagdesigner, e-commerce entrepreneur, Yahoo Internet Life covergirl... . Clearly, she has moved on and taken her good name withher."

Young, who is in his 70s and has retired from the school,couldn't be reached, but his lawyer, Kenneth Kelly, called theharassment charge "ridiculous."