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Peking University to sue former professor for libel

By Cheng Yingqi (China Daily)

08:45, September 03, 2012

Peking University has announced it is suing a former professor for libel over claims he made about a sex scandal at the college.

The college is seeking an apology and damages from Zou Hengfu, an economist who falsely alleged that its deans and directors had sexually harassed waitresses working on campus.

“Zou’s micro blog posts have caused severe damage to the reputation of Peking University and our teachers, and hurt the feelings of our students and alumni, as well as the feelings of innocent waitresses,” Jiang Langlang, Peking University spokesman, said on Sunday.

He said that because the university has launched legal proceedings, it will cease to respond to questions related to the issue.

Zou, a Harvard University graduate who worked for Peking University from 1998 until his dismissal in 2007, originally posted his allegations on Aug 21.

Writing on his micro blog, he alleged that waitresses at Mengtaoyuan Restaurant on campus had suffered harassment at the hands of college employees. The post was forwarded 25,000 times within two days.

However, the professor, who now works as a senior economist at the World Bank, later admitted he was exaggerating.

“I acknowledge that sex allegations attract eyeballs, and this was my strategy,” he wrote on his micro blog. “I always like exaggerating when talking. This is my style.

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