In an exclusive interview with the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Dharun Ravi has finally shown some remorse over the death of Tyler Clementi. Ravi was found guilty of bias intimidation (a hate crime) and invasion of privacy last Friday and faces up to 10 years in jail and deportation. Sentencing goes down May 21.
Here’s what Ravi said when asked what he felt after he found out Tyler was dead:
“I’m very sorry about Tyler. I have parents and a little brother, and I can only try to imagine how they feel. But I want the Clementis to know I had no problem with their son. I didn’t hate Tyler and I knew he was okay with me. I wanted to talk to his parents, but I was afraid. I didn’t know what to say. At first, I actually thought I could be helpful because as far as I knew, I was the last one to see him alive.”
But Ravi won’t admit that Clementi’s homosexuality caused him to treat him differently than if Clementi had been straight.
“I don’t even recognize the person I was two years ago,” he said, admitting he was insensitive and immature. “But I wasn’t biased. I didn’t act out of hate and I wasn’t uncomfortable with Tyler being gay.”
He shows surprising faith in his decision not to take a generous, jail-time-free plea deal, stating in no uncertain terms that he does not lament missing an easy out.
“I’m never going to regret not taking the plea. If I took the plea, I would have had to testify that I did what I did to intimidate Tyler and that would be a lie. I won’t ever get up there and tell the world I hated Tyler because he was gay, or tell the world I was trying to hurt or intimidate him because it’s not true.”
Lastly, Ravi says he’s sad that he’ll never know if his apology text ever got through to Clementi.
“One of the most frustrating parts is that he never got my apology. I texted an apology and when he didn’t answer, I e-mailed him. I told him I didn’t want him to feel pressure to have to move and that we could work things out.”
This was one of those times where you needed to pick up the freaking phone and call, Ravi. Maybe you’ll learn that as you grow up.