Sharply contrasting versions of events marked the opening statements Monday in the civil trial against a senior Columbia Business School professor accused by a former junior tenure-track colleague of sexual harassment and career sabotage.

The picture painted by counsel for former Columbia University assistant professor Enrichetta Ravina of professor Geert Bekaert is one that has become familiar in the #MeToo era. A powerful figure at both the prestigious university and in the broader economic academic world, Bekaert dangled the prospects of important research critical for a coveted tenure position to cultivate a close working relationship with Ravina after she arrived at the school in 2008.

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