What Happened Today When the Boston Globe and Hilary Sargent Faced off in Court?

The judge wants to know what everybody is really looking for.

Brick photo via iStock/123ducu

The legal back-and-forth between the Boston Globe and a former employee who has accused its editor of sexual harassment will continue, for now.

At a hearing on Thursday, a judge asked lawyers for the paper and its former employee, Hilary Sargent, to meet, talk things over, and then submit more paperwork for the judge to consider. The two sides have until 4 p.m. on Friday to sign a joint letter describing what, exactly, each of them wants from the court. That means a ruling in the case that has thrust the paper into the spotlight amid a nationwide discussion about sexual misconduct will have to wait until at least early next week.

Sargent, who worked for the Globe in the ’90s and then for the Globe-owned website boston.com from 2014-2016, alleged in a series of tweets in May that the paper’s editor, Brian McGrory, sent her a sexually suggestive text reading, “What do you normally wear when you write?” She identified the author of the text as McGrory but says she does not remember when the conversation took place or whether she was a Globe employee at the time. McGrory says he does not recall the exchange and denies sexually harassing Sargent.

The Globe has since launched an investigation, and sought an injunction to force Sargent to cooperate. It wants the court to compel her to sit down for a formal interview and provide other documentation related to her allegations.

Sargent and her lawyer have accused the paper of using legal action to intimidate and silence her. In an affidavit, she wrote that her tweets were intended “to bring public awareness to what I consider to be McGrory’s inappropriate behavior, and—more importantly—to bring attention to the Globe’s leadership my concerns and view that this type of inappropriate behavior is a long-standing and pervasive problem at the Globe.”