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Ousted NU prof writes book on #MeToo accusations that ‘razed’ his life

Alec Klein resigned from Northwestern last year as women accused him of bullying and misconduct, including “unwanted neck massages.”

Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Sun-Times file photo

A year after resigning from Northwestern University amid allegations from dozens of women accusing him of persistent sexual harassment and bullying, ex-investigative journalism professor Alec Klein has landed a book deal to recount his side of the #MeToo moment that roiled the North Shore campus.

Klein’s 208-page volume “Aftermath: When It Felt Like Life Was Over But Wasn’t” is due out Jan 14, 2020, via the Christian non-fiction publisher Fidelis Books.

Alec Klein | Northwestern University faculty photo
Alec Klein
Northwestern University

”When a well-respected professor at a top university is falsely accused of being abusive to students, how will he pick up the pieces and rebuild his life?” a book description says, bemoaning how the ex-professor’s “successful and fulfilling life was razed by the heavy equipment of the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ culture built in the early twenty-first century.”

In February 2018, Klein took a leave of absence from Northwestern and his Medill Justice Project investigative journalism program as 29 women who worked or studied under him came forward to publicly accuse him of “controlling, discriminatory, emotionally and verbally abusive behavior.” The alleged misconduct also included “unwanted neck massages,” attempted kisses and suggestive text messages he later claimed were “intended for his wife.”

”He is a liability and a predator among your faculty,” the women wrote in an open letter to administrators at the journalism school. “Yet his actions have gone unchecked for years, further traumatizing more and more women. Medill has not only let us down — it has also failed to protect us.”

Klein categorically denied any wrongdoing, dismissing most as false accusations from “a disgruntled former employee.”

The university completed an investigation into the women’s claims by June, but Klein resigned “voluntarily” in August — with the school refusing to reveal the findings of its probe.

The cover of Alec Klein’s upcoming book.
The cover of Alec Klein’s upcoming book.
Fidelis Books

”As often happens, before he had a chance to establish his innocence, it was too late,” his book description says.

Klein could not be reached for comment. The women who banded together as “Medill Me Too” did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A university spokesman said the school was aware of the upcoming book.

”The University investigated the allegations against him thoroughly, following established procedures designed to ensure fairness to all parties .... Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are safe, secure and free from sexual misconduct of any form. The decisions of some Northwestern students to come forward with their complaints undoubtedly were not easy ones, and we commend them for having had the courage to do so.”

A four-paragraph excerpt from the first chapter of Klein’s book finds the narrator considering how long he has left to live given “all the wreckage before me.” But the description teases that, “[i]n the rubble, Alec discovers hope and ultimate redemption where he never thought it could be found.”

According to a company description, Fidelis Books, a Nashville-based subsidiary of Post Hill Press, emphasizes a “significant focus on Christian nonfiction and fiction titles that communicate biblically sound, historically orthodox truth to the church and modern culture.”

Representatives for the publisher did not respond to requests for comment about their decision to partner on the project. A spokesman for Simon & Schuster, which is distributing the book, declined to comment.