Dharun Ravi says he is ‘very sorry’ about Tyler Clementi

Dharun Ravi, a former Rutgers University student charged with bias intimidation, wipes his brow as he departs the courtroom inside of the Superior Court of New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
REUTERS

For the first time, Dharun Ravi is speaking out after he was convicted of a hate crime last Friday.

Ravi set up a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, who was gay, when he had a guest in his room. Clementi later found out and jumped off the George Washington Bridge. The September 2010 suicide spurred a national conversation about homophobia, and Ravi faces as many as 10 years in jail at his May 21 sentencing.

In the interview, he vowed to appeal and said he was “energized” by the verdict. “We will keep going,” he said.

Ravi insisted he did not regret bypassing a plea offer that would have kept him out of jail if he pleaded guilty to bias intimidation charges.

“I’m never going to regret not taking the plea,” Ravi said. “If I took the plea, I would have had to testify that I did what I did to intimidate Tyler and that would be a lie. I won’t ever get up there and tell the world I hated Tyler because he was gay, or tell the world I was trying to hurt or intimidate him because it’s not true.”

He said a tweet he sent suggesting that friends tune in to see Clementi with his guest was a joke, and that he later pointed the camera back at his bed.

In the interview, the reporter asked, “What were you thinking?” And Ravi replied, “I wasn’t.”

He also expressed regret that Clementi committed suicide.

“I’m very sorry about Tyler,” he said. “I have parents and a little brother, and I can only try to imagine how they feel. But I want the Clementis to know I had no problem with their son. I didn’t hate Tyler and I knew he was okay with me. I wanted to talk to his parents, but I was afraid. I didn’t know what to say.”

In the interview, which already had 561 comments this morning, Ravi is described as “drawn and thin” with “perpetually sad” eyes while sitting on a sofa in his parent’s living room.



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