A point that tends to get lost in all the furor is that I am not the only one negatively affected by public defamatory statements made against me. I have a wife, a family, grandchildren, past and present students, friends, supporters—all are affected. I thus have not just a right but also a duty to defend my good name (not to mention financial prospects). This necessarily involves casting doubt (based on reason and evidence) on the allegations made, and hence on those making the allegations. There is no way around this.
If a student makes a confidential allegation against a professor, this can be handled within the confines of the institution. There is no need to get into the public realm. But in the present case the student and her representative voluntarily went to the national press some nine months after the initial confidential allegation, for reasons that elude me. This made the matter public and so I had to make a public response, given the world in which we live. I did not make a public response to a confidential allegation; I made a public response to a public allegation that I deemed defamatory and without merit. I think anyone else would have done the same. What was I to do—say nothing? I owed it to my grandchildren to clear my name. But isn’t this all painfully obvious?