Ex-reporter threatens Globe with more revelations
Sargent says allegations against McGrory are not isolated
A FORMER REPORTER and editor who accused Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory of sending her an unwanted sexually suggestive text is hinting she has more to reveal about the culture of sexual harassment and workplace environment at the paper.
Hilary Sargent, who has been on a mission to push the Globe to acknowledge and address what she says is its own history of decades of sexual harassment of young women at the paper, has been using social media to out McGrory, whom she used to date when she was a young intern. She also has indicated she’d be willing to shine a “Spotlight” not only on those she says harassed and stalked women but also their enablers.
“This isn’t about one text,” Sargent wrote on Twitter Thursday after she said she was threatened with a suit by Globe lawyers. “This isn’t about just him. And this isn’t about just me. I’m horrified that the newspaper that purports to shine a ‘Spotlight’ is doing everything in their power to do just the opposite.”
Sargent, who was a top editor at Boston.com before leaving in 2016, dropped a bomb on McGrory and the paper when she posted a screengrab of a text message that she says came from McGrory. Amid a conversation about the process of writing a story, the person Sargent is conversing with asks, “What do you generally wear when you write?”
“Hilary and I dated many years ago,” McGrory wrote. “We did not work together at the time, and we’ve remained friendly over the years… (M)onths after Hilary left boston.com, we would sometimes exchange text messages that included the kind of personal banter of two people very familiar with each other. I regret that very much for reasons that go far beyond the Globe.”
The two apparently dated around 2000, when Sargent was a 20-year-old intern and McGrory was a Metro columnist nearing 40 and recently divorced at the time. Sargent’s charges and the stories in the media have kicked off an intense debate on social media. Some claim the dating revelation puts context on the tone of the message missing in her post while others say her age and the power dynamic cannot be dismissed in the situation. Some supporters of McGrory also pointed to a farewell Sargent penned when she left Boston.com that heaped praise on the website and the paper.
In his memo to staff, McGrory insisted he has never harassed women at the Globe or been inappropriate in his interactions, a claim that prompted Sargent to fire back in an email to a Globe reporter.
“If Brian McGrory truly does not believe he has ever acted inappropriately with anyone at The Boston Globe, then he and I have a remarkably different understanding of what is — and is not — appropriate,” she wrote.
Linda Pizzuti Henry, the Globe’s managing editor, and the paper’s president, Vinay Mehra, said in a memo to staff they talked with McGrory about the Sargent allegations and that they reached out to her for more information. The “reaching out,” though, was apparently through lawyers as Sargent told a Globe reporter she received the draft of a legal complaint that orders her, in accordance with the separation agreement she signed when she left the company in 2016, to cooperate with any investigations regarding her time there.But Sargent said on Twitter she has offered to draw them a road map to inappropriate behavior at the paper.
“For approximately six months I have reached out to (the Boston Globe) asking to discuss with them the extent to which sexual harassment has been an issue – long ago and not so long ago,” she wrote. “My offer still stands. I have not refused to assist in their ‘investigation.’”