At this very moment, Tyler Clementi‘s gay date—identified anonymously as M.B. in court papers—is testifying against Dharun Ravi, Clementi’s former roommate at Rutgers.
Ravi is charged with invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest, after he spied on Clementi’s hookups with M.B. twice, mere days before Clementi plunged to his death from the George Washington Bridge.
Several of Ravi’s college friends have said Ravi was not outrightly anti-gay. But not Geoffrey Irving, who took the stand yesterday.
According to the Star-Ledger, Irving testified that:
“From my observation of his demeanor, he appeared uncomfortable with the situation [of having a gay roommate]. [Ravi] told me he had set up a webcam of some sort to capture images of his roommate. He told me he had done it before that date [and] that he was planning on doing it again. That night.”
When cross-examined by Ravi’s lawyer, Irving admitted that he had never heard Ravi being outright homophobic or malicious to Clementi. Irving did say he thought Ravi was “uncomfortable” with Clementi being gay, though.
According to live tweets from in-the-courthouse Wall Street Journal reporter Pervaiz Shallwani, M.B. entered through the side door to avoid the media circus. “He is clean shaven, short cropped hair, blue button-up shirt, tallish with just a slight heft,” tweeted Shallwani.
Reporter Kurt Siegelin tweeted that “only M.B.’s hands are being shown. No audio from courtroom. Great measures being taken to protect identity.”
M.B. testified that, “while we were intimate together on the bed, I just glanced over and I noticed that there was a webcam positioned towards the bed,” wrote Shallwani.
“It just caught my eye that there was a camera lens looking directly at me. [As I was leaving, I] saw a group of people standing there looking at me… It was really just kind of unsettling. I wasn’t really trying to look at them.”
This was during M.B. and Clementi’s second encounter on Sept. 19, 2010. (The first was on Sept 16, which was not spied on by Ravi.) The young men got together again on Sept. 21, 2010, a day before Clementi took his life.
That time, M.B. says he could hear people gossiping about them:
“It sounded like people talking and people laughing. It seemed like making jokes at someone’s expense… I texted [Clementi] every day after that. I did intend to see him. As far as I was going to return to that building to see him, I felt a little uneasy about it.”
On Oct. 1, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office reached out to M.B. and let him know that Clementi had taken his life. More testimony is expected when the defense begins its cross-examination.