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Suit Over Allegations

David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT and resigned from the Whitehead Institute following sexual harassment allegations, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director for defamation, the Boston Globe reports.

In August, the Globe reported that a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion survey had raised concerns about the Sabatini lab that prompted the Whitehead to investigate. That investigation found, according to the Globe, that Sabatini violated the institute's sexual harassment policy, leading the Whitehead to sever ties with him and MIT to place him on administrative leave.

In his new lawsuit, Sabatini says he had a consensual relationship with his accuser, who worked with him at the Whitehead, that he ended in 2019, but that the other person "fabricated claims" of sexual harassment, the Globe now reports. It adds that the lawsuit additionally alleges that the investigation was biased against Sabatini.

According to the Globe, the suit alleges defamation, interference with his employers, funders, and scientific journals, and emotional distress, and seeks damages and lawyers' fees.