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Dharun Ravi on Tyler Clementi: ‘I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump’

Clementi's parents say 'the jury got it right'
Friday, March 23, 2012

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student who was convicted last week of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, a hate crime, is speaking out for the first time since his college roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death in September 2010.

Following Clementi’s suicide, it was quickly learned that Ravi had set-up a webcam to spy on Clementi’s intimate encounter with another man.

ABC NEWS

Dharun Ravi

In interviews this week with the New Jersey Star-Ledger and ABC News, Ravi acknowledged that he acted inappropriately by spying on Clementi, but said it was not out of hate toward gays.

“Even though I wasn’t the one who caused him to jump off the bridge, I did do things wrong and I was stupid about a lot of stuff,” Ravi said in an interview scheduled to air on ABC’s “20/20″ tonight.

Ravi said he was concerned about Clementi’s guest, a 30-year-old man who Clementi met on a gay dating website, identified during the trial only as M.B. — Ravi said he thought M.B. looked “shady” to him.

Ravi also said that he has come to believe that Clementi’s suicide wasn’t caused by the webcam incident a few days earlier, and he takes “comfort” in that:

“The more and more I found out, it would be kind of obnoxious of me to think that I could have this profound effect on him,” Ravi told ABC News’ “20/20″ in an interview scheduled to air today.

“After all this time and reading his conversations and how and what he was doing before, I really don’t think he cared at all. I feel like I was an insignificant part to his life. That’s giving me comfort now.”

“I didn’t act out of hate and I wasn’t uncomfortable with Tyler being gay,” Ravi told the Star-Ledger, and said he will continue to try and prove he did not commit a bias crime.

“I didn’t bully Tyler Clementi,” Ravi said.

Following is an excerpt of the ABC News interview; the full interview airs Friday on “20/20″ at 10 p.m. ET.

Clementi’s parents said Friday that the jury got it right last week by convicting Ravi of hate crimes and other offenses.

“They reached their decision based on the facts shown by the evidence,” Tyler Clementi’s father, Joseph Clementi, said in a written statement. “At the conclusion of the trial, the defense’s explanation of what happened was simply not believable.”

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69 more reader comments:

  1. U LIAR U DID

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:17am
  2. no it was your action that lead to it

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:18am
  3. He might as well be saying “I gave him the gun, but I didn’t pull the trigger.” Idiot!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:19am
  4. i will repeat my comment from earlier: this kid is a PUNK!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:19am
  5. It irks me the lack of accountability of this douche bag! You may not have been the one and only cause, but you sure did your little bit to help push Clementi of that bridge. Can’t wait until he is in jail and then shipped out of here for good.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:19am
  6. Still not taking responsibility….

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:20am
  7. Here’s an idea. YOU JUMP. Then all is forgiven.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:20am
  8. Not only is there a total lack of accountability on behalf of this ass, he doesn’t display even a shred of compassion over the fact that this young man killed himself….its sad…this guy couldnt care less…

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:22am
  9. Gross what a liar ! I want to smack that brat .

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:25am
  10. Bullying to that degree is absolutely his fault. The mental torture he inflicted is sickening beyond reproach. He is guilty. This goes beyond a sexual affiliation crime to a cyber bullying threat that needs to be made an example. The suicide rate is extreme enough in the GLBT community youth without adding the extreme bullying this jerk did!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:27am
  11. Right, Gavin, because another death brings Tyler Clementi back and makes the world whole again. Bad idea. I agree this guy’s an idiot, but idiocy isn’t usually a capital crime.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:28am
  12. this is a shame

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:32am
  13. Doesn’t surprise me at all..See the arrogance in him..

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:33am
  14. he cyber bullied Clementi and got what he deserved, he turned down a plea deal of 600 hours of community service and rolled the dice on a homophobic justice sentence. I am glad he and his family r shocked, no American should ever have to feel shame, guilt, terror or self hate because they are gay. NEVER.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:34am
  15. He is just a sad lil’ straight prick.. gets everything he deserves.. really should get more !!!!!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:39am
  16. It’s all up to the person how they take what someone is saying, and how thick their skin is. The person who jumped didn’t have a thick enough skin to handle what was being said. I’m not saying that what happened was okay, and I’m not saying that this Ravi douche is innocent. He’s a terrible person, but some people just can’t handle life.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:39am
  17. Okay my friends we are getting close to 202,000 on this page. Please come and like if you haven’t already. Please share your comments, thoughts, photo’s, and love. Thanks all. http://www.facebook.com/pages/1-Million-people-who-support-Ellen-for-JC-Penney/171435642966371

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:44am
  18. pushing someone into a mindset IS your fault! want me to push you into suicide and get away with it? I will!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:45am
  19. If Ravi is responsible for what Tyler did, then by extension, society is responsible for what Ravi did. You can’t have it both ways, hold him responsible for Tyler’s pained choice, and not recognize the many individuals who influenced Ravi’s thoughts and actions.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:45am
  20. Ravi displays a denial of his responsibility. He should be ashamed of himself. Instead he is giving a self serving tv interview.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:46am
  21. No he was the catalyst.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:48am
  22. Since when do they let someone who bullied a gay guy to death go on the news and look like his take on this is legitimate in any way?

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:52am
  23. Stop being soooo stupid, America, please I’m begging you.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:52am
  24. What a solipsistic jackass Ravi is. And how nauseated I am that a major network would give him a platform to spout off as if he now suddenly has the empathy to understand what Clementi would feel or think — and (surprise, surprise) Ravi has the gall to act as if Clementi wouldn’t have been bothered by what he did. I couldn’t care less about the self-serving lies Ravi tells himself to give himself “comfort.” All I want to hear come out of his mouth is an apology, but even that would be disingenuous. Ugh.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:56am
  25. question? can a person with 15 felonies ever become a U.S citizen?

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:01am
  26. Never mind his own accountability. What about the thousands of idiots petitioning the White House to reverse his conviction.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:03am
  27. BULLSH*T

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:11am
  28. I didn’t push him down that stairwell. I just pushed him down the first step-he fell the rest of the way…..That creep even had the gall to claim he spied on the guy out of “concern”. I guess he spread the word out of concern as well. Please!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:12am
  29. damm asshole

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:15am
  30. He should just shut the hell up and park his ass in his jail cell and rot! Last I checked, he is also a minority and shouldn’t be bullying anyone for being different, no matter what that difference is. I despise with a vehement passion any minority group that feels the need to persecute another.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:23am
  31. I don’t have a problem with him saying that he didn’t cause Tyler to commit suicide, because suicide is ultimately the choice of the victim regardless of the circumstances. I went through an abusive childhood and relentless bullying, but here I am today. However, I do have an issue with this guy claiming that his actions had NOTHING to do with Tyler’s suicide. He believes he was an insignificant part of Clementi’s life. …Huh? How does he honestly think what he did had nothing to do with Tyler’s mental anguish in life? I don’t understand. This guy has serious denial problems. :|

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:33am
  32. He doesn’t even feel an ounce of regret judging from the above statement……As a college student does he know what GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION MEANS……..You played a role in his decision to jump and end his life after you humiliate Tyler Clementi therefore you are guilty then again it is not completely his fault as this is encouraged in this society towards the LGBT community.The real issue is to find out what approaches will be put in place to discourage such injustice and violations towards any future LGBT community members. This is insane because there will always be people who are different from others. To violate another human being in such cruel public embarrassment to Tyler Clementi or any other human being is just wrong and illegal and uncivilized in the twenty-first century proving where we are in modern civilization.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:57am
  33. Maybe not, but you may have been the last straw, asshole.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:03pm
  34. Oh, shut the fuck up, Ravi.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:04pm
  35. You can’t put someone in prison for being just another contributing factor in an unstable person’s suicide. Unless he did relentless bullying day in day out, in person and on the internet, and gave the person no way to escape it, then he’s really NOT at fault. Yes he was being an asshole, yes he commited a crime, yes he embarassed the hell out of the kid and invaded his privacy, but we cant punish every person who had contributed to Clementi feeling bad. The fact is not everyone reacts to bad situations with suicide, that’s a separate thing. If he hated gay people as badly as people who actually DO cause suicides, he probably wouldn’t have even agreed to continue being his roommate that long. It’s sad, and this kid has played a part, but ultimately he doesn’t deserve all the blame because not every gay person kills themselves when they get outed or made fun of. And gay isnt the only thing people are bullied about, and not everyone who is bullied kills themselves. You can’t see it coming unless, like I said, it’s relentless for a long time and may include group bullying. People who have what it takes to kill themselves are just more fragile, and it’s sad, but there’s no way to know.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:51pm
  36. *I should correct myself, he shouldn’t face at least as much jail time, he DID spy and broadcast him, yes, but I don’t think the punishment for a young kid who hasn’t really done anything wrong before should be THIS extreme

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:52pm
  37. I dunno, if he was being made fun of every time he turned his head, from every single person, and Ravi knew this and still provoked him, then yeah…and used anti-gay language and wished him dead and stuff like that, but that’s not how it happened

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:53pm
  38. Dharun Ravi is a pretenious sociopath who does not recognize his shameful role in another man’s death, and his guilt is certain whether he acknowledges it or not.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 1:24pm
  39. Clearly he has a lot of problems , lacking empathy for a living being of any kind . I think Laura said it He’s sociopath .

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 2:19pm
  40. Deport his ass! Lying homosexual ass! He needs to come out of the closet! This just pisses me off!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 3:27pm
  41. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight or fucking dinosaur, if you bully someone to the point of suicide you don’t deserve any empathy regardless if it was caused directly by your actions or not…

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 5:09pm
  42. But you contributed to his death you tard bag!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:18pm
  43. There going to love him in prison. He’ll be gay for the stay. Lol

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:19pm
  44. By now, Ravi is heavily coached by attorneys and conditions of the anticipated evidence in the trial. The victim is dead, whose humanity is not even assessed – now just a logistical factor for the agenda of avoiding incrimination by the legal system. *Rutgers* education at work through a sociopathic personality.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:22pm
  45. Oh yeah, soon his gonna learn the real meaning what it means to be gay. On the up side, he’ll shit easier in old age.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:29pm
  46. Found guilty by a jury of his peers of 15 – repeat – 15 counts. The jury wasn’t THAT wrong. And btw, NO real remorse expressed here. Haven’t seen it yet. And ALL this will be used in the appeal process. None of this will serve him well in appeals. Or in prison….

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:30pm
  47. Why can’t we just deport him….. why have to pay to house, feed and clothe him? Get him outta here!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:41pm
  48. He got his nerve

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:43pm
  49. I say deport him ….. why should we have to pay for him being in prison? Get him outta here for good!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 6:44pm
  50. Friggen trumpfoolery!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:24pm
  51. He looked gay..his damn self!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:26pm
  52. I’m watching this interview right now. I’m surprised at how I view this guy and this case now that I am hearing both sides. I pride myself on at least attempting to be fair and balanced… I hope everyone else is willing to hear ALL of the facts before coming to a conclusion… even if the conclusion is not the same as mine.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:26pm
  53. Can we please stop it with the prison rape comments?

    Psychopaths like Ravi will only have more victims behind bars. He is smart and manipulative. He will be calling the shots and bribing fellow inmates to do his bidding in practically no time at all. He will find plenty of weak and vulerable men to exploit for his amusement.

    If anyone is going to be raped in the prison where Ravi ends up, Ravi is likely to be the rapist. What he did was about power, control and humilation. That will be his strong suit in prison.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:28pm
  54. Watching this – so distressing, but as manipulative as Ravi is, let’s not forget about the disease of depression and the cruelty of college ‘antics’.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:29pm
  55. I think he might have some sedative on as well . . .

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:31pm
  56. That is to say, I think Tyler Clementi had extenuating circumstances . I am not excusing Ravi’s behavior, but I am thinking it was a major catalyst for the events to follow.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:35pm
  57. Under the law, extenuating circumstances can’t be considered. If you slap someone in the head and that causes a weak blood vessel to rupture and the person dies, you are guilty of manslaughter. Without the assault taking place, the person would not have died. Even if an expert testifies that death was certain at some other point in the future. So, if you harass a depressed person and that triggers a suicide, you can’t use the depression as a defense. This is why I think Ravi should have been charged with manslaughter.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:42pm
  58. As I watch this, I can only think, he has to live with this for the rest of his days, whether he is in jail, or deported back to India.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:44pm
  59. But what you did, make him jump! You degraded him!

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 9:03pm
  60. Just watched the 20/20 interview – it was frustrating. Based on what Ravi claims, it sounds like there were some false items reported in the media (for instance, he says he didn’t actually record them having sex), but it seems that Ravi still doesn’t grasp the enormity of what he did. He was pretty dismissive about his online communication, saying things like “I posted it, but I didn’t mean it – that is just how friends talk” (I am paraphrasing). That isn’t a legitimate defense. If you said it, at least a piece of you means it, and Tyler had every possibility of thinking that a very *large* piece of you meant it. His posts claim to arrange for an online viewing party, but he dismisses it, saying he didn’t mean it and it never happened, and it wasn’t really his idea anyway. How was Tyler to know that? And how were his Twitter followers to know that?

    Maybe Ravi wasn’t THE ONE reason Tyler committed suicide, or the ONLY reason Tyler committed suicide – we simply don’t know. What we do know, is that he created a hostile environment for Tyler in his final days.

    What we also know is that issues of bullying, bias, and intimidation are pervasive, and we *have* to address the problem. This means open, honest, compassionate communication with everyone, no matter what role they play in the scenario – “victim,” “bully,” “bystander,” “friend,” and “family.” Watching the interview was frustrating, but I just kept thinking “one day, years from now, this boy (Ravi) will mature and he will finally realize the impact his actions had… and that may just crush him.” And there is no joy in that sentiment – only more loss. Loss upon loss upon loss. Recognizing that loss doesn’t take away from the outrage that I feel over what he did to Tyler. Our culture is wounded by hate and fear and ignorance, and it must be healed.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:04pm
  61. Something tells me, whether or not Ravi was the reason Tyler commited suicide, he was a HUGE factor. I think if the social media BS never happened, he’d still be here today. It was clearly the final straw for this poor man.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:18pm
  62. Social media is evil.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:19pm
  63. This creep doesn’t know what abuse means. But he’s going to find out. Have fun in prison, punk.

    Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:53pm
  64. Gods forgive me, But I Hate that boy so much. I don’t Care if it was his intention to our tyler, embarass him or torment him. He is GUILTY of INVASION OF PRIVACY, And by disceminating that video it should have been a death penalty hate crime.

    Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 6:49am
  65. Tyler MAY have been fragile, The actions of Ravi were not something that should ever be done even to a porn acter, we just neer know the heart and mind of another.

    Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 7:09am
  66. Want to bet?

    Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 7:52am
  67. What a remorseless douche.

    Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 9:05am
  68. Technically, he’s right… he didn’t make him jump. Usually when people commit suicide, they have lots of other problems as well. However, what he did was wrong and he should be punished accordingly.

    Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 11:18am
  69. This boy needs to grow up and become a man already, see what happens when legally adult men act like children, well think again, when children do things like this it’s out of innocence, when legally adult people do it it’s cruel and thoughtless.

    Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 12:46pm