He called her 'glamorous and gifted' in her 7th grade yearbook. Years later they ran into each other by chance.
Former Lusher Middle School student Caryn Blair never viewed her eighth-grade English teacher — literary biographer Blake Bailey — as a mentor, a distinction between her and most of a growing list of her former classmates who have accused him of grooming them for unwanted sex or rape years later.
Yet, Blair said this week, that didn’t stop Bailey from trying to rape her during a chance encounter in the months following Hurricane Katrina, when she was in her early 20s, an assault she says she headed off with physical force.
Blair’s account of that night adds troubling details to an emerging profile of Bailey, whose best-selling biography of writer Philip Roth was taken out of circulation by its publisher this week. The action came in the wake of two rape allegations and statements from several of his former students at Lusher in the 1990s that he groomed them for future sexual encounters.
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