Media

The Boston Globe Is Taking Hilary Sargent to Court

Fallout continues from a series of tweets Sargent posted alleging misconduct by the Globe's top editor, Brian McGrory.


Brick photo via iStock/123ducu

The Boston Globe is seeking an injunction against former boston.com staffer Hilary Sargent in the wake of tweets she posted earlier in the week alleging misconduct from the publication’s top editor, Brian McGrory. Sargent had posted a screenshot of a text exchange that appeared to show McGrory flirting with her in response to a question seeking writing advice.

McGrory has denied that he sexually harassed her, and a letter from his lawyer, shared by Emily Rooney on Twitter, accused Sargent of making defamatory statements, claiming the two dated many years prior to the text exchange, but that he never supervised her at boston.com.

The lawsuit isn’t a complete surprise—the Globe had apparently sent Sargent a draft lawsuit earlier in the week, per a story written by staff reporter Mark Arsenault. When we reached out to Sargent this afternoon, she declined to comment. Jane Bowman, the vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships for the Globe, was quick to respond with the following over email. The comments reflect court documents shared by WGBH’s Adam Reilly over Twitter, accusing Sargent of not complying with the terms of a separation agreement she signed when she left boston.com.

It is a top priority of the leadership here at The Globe to create a safe, welcoming, and comfortable working environment for all employees.  This is a responsibility we take very seriously.

Earlier this week, Hilary Sargent stated publicly on social media that there was an inappropriate text exchange between her and Globe Editor Brian McGrory.  We have been diligently investigating so as to understand the nature of all exchanges and interactions between Mr. McGrory and Ms. Sargent that occurred during the course of her employment.  Understanding whether this exchange took place while Ms. Sargent was an employee is a critical first step.

Mr. McGrory has willingly turned over his phone and has fully cooperated with us.  Multiple attempts to retrieve the exchange from his phone have proved unsuccessful.

From the time that Ms. Sargent tweeted about this exchange, we have on multiple occasions reached out to her.  She has been unwilling to provide further relevant information to date.

Ms. Sargent signed a separation agreement upon the conclusion of her employment in which she agreed to cooperate with any matter relating to her employment here.  Our filing today seeks Ms. Sargent’s cooperation in collecting information related to her specific claims — nothing more, and nothing less. We do so in an attempt to hear more, not less, from Ms. Sargent.

 We have an obligation to this institution and its readers to hold the same lens to ourselves as we do to the those we write about in our pages.  We continue to intend to do that here.