Prestigious Washington prep school Sidwell Friends is involved in a lawsuit over a former employee’s affair, and it is wild, Washingtonian reports.
Plaintiff Terry Newmyer is suing Sidwell and former Sidwell psychologist and sex ed teacher James Huntington, alleging that the school knew that Huntington was having an affair with Newmyer’s wife, Tara Mehrbach, even as he was treating Newmyer’s daughter.
While Washingtonian‘s write-up has the details on how intertwined Sidwell is with the city’s elite (three judges had to recuse themselves from the case for their connections with the school), it also has some more salacious details. Like how Huntington was at once teaching about sex education and a real weirdo about it:
In one of the e-mails included in the complaint, Huntington wonders whether he should discuss the affair with Newmyer’s daughter. “Do I talk about masturbating on your face or your marital situation with Terry . . . ? Decisions, decisions, decisions.”
And he’s not alone. At one point, Huntington writes to his lover about 8th-grade girls at Sidwell talking about how physical education teachers hit on them (emphasis added):
In a March 4, 2010, exchange excerpted in Newmyer’s complaint, Huntington e-mailed Mehrbach expressing his desire “to be busy with [her] body,” and when she called to discuss it but didn’t reach him, his follow-up e-mail explained why: “Your call enabled me to kick out some 8th grade girls from my room. They were winners from Twin Day, so they were eating their prizes in here and talking about male P.E. teachers that try to hit on them.”
The case has even pulled in easily threatened Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, whose daughter also attended Sidwell Friends and was involved in a bullying situation that Huntington intervened in. Woodward and his wife, Elsa Walsh, claimed to the school that Huntington had talked about the bullying with his lover, Newmyer’s wife. As a result, Newmyer is subpoenaing emails from Woodward and his wife.
In a final twist, this isn’t the first time that Woodward has been pulled into controversy by Huntington’s extended family. The former school psychologist was once married to Liza Himmelman, whose brother, Jeff Himmelman, published a biography of former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee that suggested Bradlee didn’t believe Woodward’s version of Watergate.
Photo by NCinDC used under a Creative Commons license