Monday, June 21, 2010

Statement from David Davidar's lawyer

Nilanjana (among others) posts a statement from David Davidar's lawyer. Below is a comment I just left tried to leave on her site.

This gets bizarre. First, I can understand his lawyer vetting his statement, but why on earth is his lawyer speaking for him? Is it so that he can have a chance of denying it later?

Second, what is one supposed to make of this statement: "Mr. Davidar accepted the situation [that she did not want a secret romance], and their flirtatious relationship continued"? Surely that was a clear signal to him to back off.

And this one: "Mr. Davidar engaged in flirtatious banter with [Samantha Francis] for a short period of time. He did not engage in any conduct toward Ms. Francis that he knew or should have known was unwelcome." So he should not have known that flirtatious banter with a subordinate may be unwelcome?

As for the Frankfurt incident: he says she did not resist, she says she did. She goes into graphic details of how she resisted (climbing onto a window sill, pleading with him, curling into a foetal position, etc). Why does he not come out and say that all those specific statements were lies? What he says is "However, contrary to Ms Rundle’s claim, Mr. Davidar did not bully his way into her room, nor did he force himself upon her. Ms Rundle did not object when they kissed." It is possible he entered the room before she asked him to leave. He does not deny that she asked him to leave, or climbed on the window sill. If she "did not object" when they kissed, perhaps she had given up. In fact, the "foetal position" can be interpreted as not resisting.

It was an unequal relationship and he should have respected that. If she was not always negative -- if she sometimes even seemed to encourage him -- perhaps this widely-circulated anonymous blogpost may explain why.(*)

How he squares it with his wife is between him and his wife -- it is nobody else's business. I don't see why that should enter into his lawyer's statement, either. If he chooses to make a public statement on his wife, surely he can make the statement himself.

(*)Key quote from that post:
I flirted back, when he'd flirt, and I'm ashamed. But I blame him. I blame the way he manipulated us into thinking it was all part of the job, the "culture" of the office...

PS (21/06/10, 22:17): The other striking thing about that statement is the ratio of its length to its content. Huge stretches of it consist merely of "she invited him to tennis", "they had dinner together", "she asked him for a ride", "she sent him good wishes", and variations thereof. In Davidar's and his lawyer's minds, presumably, all this paints a damning portrait. If I had assumed that every woman who invited me to dinner or to a concert had been trying to flirt with me, maybe my life would have been as colourful as Davidar's. Such an attitude must make platonic friendship between the sexes completely impossible (and yes, some do argue that it is impossible).


Rahul Basu said...

Is this a new concept -- consensual flirting?

Rahul Siddharthan said...

Good question. In particular, is he saying that after she told him she does not want a secret relationship, the subsequent "flirtatious relationship" was consensual -- she wanted him to continue flirting?

Consensual or not, the statement does him no credit and, if it is the best spin he could put on the truth, I wonder how bad the truth is.

Space Bar said...

My feeling is there's a point being missed: that when he claims he wanted to end their Consensual Relationship™, he is really saying she was displaying the supposedly classic signs of a woman scorned.

Rahul Siddharthan said...

SB: yes. Well, obviously if it was all consensual and on equal terms then she's either a gold digger or out for revenge (for being 'scorned'). But he's doing a terrible job of convincing anyone of the 'consensual' part, or of portraying himself as a non-scumbag. As her lawyer said, his statement implies that he lied twice to the media, and lied for years to his wife: why is this statement more believable?