A leading gynaecologist has accused a British professor of groping her breasts at a medical conference with his ‘octopus’ hands.
Dr Jen Gunter claims she suffered unwanted sexual advances from Dr Khalid Khan in a hotel bar following the event at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.
She said she was initially ‘excited’ to meet Dr Khan, who is professor of Women’s Health and Clinical Epidemiology at Barts and the London School of Medicine, when she was invited to speak at the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS).
However, Dr Gunter said her ordeal began one night after dinner at the hotel bar when they started chatting and had ordered a drink. Writing in her blog, she claims Dr Khan then touched her breasts without permission.
She wrote: ‘Dr Khan’s arm went over my shoulder in that all too familiar manner and before I could process what was happening his hand was on my breast.’
The Canadian said that she told the doctor, who is also the Editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG), to stop but he didn’t listen, and she had to resort to yelling and physically pushing him away ‘more than once before he got the idea that my body was not his to fondle’.
She revealed in her latest post that the alleged abuse happened in 2014 and she has now been inspired to speak out by ‘the brave women in Hollywood’ who recently revealed the barrage of sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of media mogul Harvey Weinstein and others.
Dr Khan told MailOnline he denies the allegation made by Dr Gunter. He said: ‘I deny this allegation and I am keen to clear my name. I will be co-operating with any investigations. In the mean time I have stepped aside from my editorial position at BJOG.’
A spokesperson from Queen Mary University of London where Dr Khan works added: ‘We have been made aware of the allegation and will be investigating the matter.’
Dr Jen Gunter claims she suffered unwanted advances from Dr Khalid Khan
Dr Khan is the editor of The British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG)
PROESSOR’S KHAN’S DATING ADVICE
Professor Khalid Khan led research by the Queen Mary University London in 2015 that investigated how men and women could get the most out of online dating.
Writing in the journal Evidence Based Medicine, he advised online daters to be honest and positive about themselves, using humour to ‘give the edge’ in seeking a partner.
According to Professor Khan, ‘men prefer physical fitness in women gained via yoga, aerobics and gym, not via rugby and bodybuilding.
Meanwhile, ‘women prefer bravery, courage and a willingness to take risks rather than kindness and altruism in their partners.’
Professor Khan is also associate editor of the journal Evidence-Based Medicine and has published over 200 peer reviewed journal articles. His book on evidence-based medicine won the British Medical Association’s medical book competition
Dr Gunter, based in San Francisco, is nicknamed ‘Twitter’s resident gynecologist’ and regularly appears in the media discussing trends such as women cleaning their vaginas with cucumbers and Vicks’ Vaporub.
She explained to Mail Online that she was also impelled to go public about his alleged behaviour because she was told by a friend that he had been called to a restaurant to remove Professor Khan – who is the editor of a prominent medical journal – because of his behaviour towards her at the dinner.
‘I told him to stop’
Explaining her reaction after she was allegedly groped by Dr Khan, Dr Gunter wrote: ‘I had one of those what-the-f***-just-happened moments and instead of punching him in the face I did what most women do, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
‘Surely the editor of the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology did not just grope my breast. Surely I imagined it.’
She said that she moved his hand and they continued to chat as she ‘pretended he hadn’t groped me’.
She continued on her blog: ‘Then he started that octopus body crawl that so many women know only too well. He was nuzzling my neck and his disgusting hot breath was in my ear.
‘He was groping my breasts, running his hands up and down my back, and putting his arm around my waist pulling me against his body. Each time I moved one hand or arm another seemed to take his place.
‘I told him to stop. I removed his hands more forcefully each time.’
Dr Gunter said a friend of hers, who she calls Dr Smith, had not directly witnessed the alleged harassment but had heard her yell.
She wrote: Dr Smith told me that ‘he had been called to a restaurant by a colleague to remove Dr Khan because of Dr Khan’s behavior towards a female doctor at the dinner.
‘Dr Smith had brought Dr. Khan back to the hotel hoping he would be embarrassed and head up to his room, but as they walked into the hotel Dr Khan headed to the bar.’
She revealed in her latest blog post that the alleged abuse happened in 2014
Inspired by the #MeToo movement
Dr Gunter claims she asked a man who she had seen at the conference for help and he ‘just looked away’.
She said she then ‘had to resort to yelling and physically pushing Dr Khan away more than once before he got the idea that my body was not his to fondle’.
She also speaks of her guilt at not warning a group of women about her experience who she said Dr Khan stumbled over to.
Professor Khan is a professor of Women’s Health and Clinical Epidemiology at Barts and the London School of Medicine
Dr Gunter wrote: ‘We women are trained from birth to make these exceptions for men.’ She also questions whether rebutting men’s advances had ever harmed her career.
‘I have never been groped like that at a medical conference, although I have heard that other women have suffered that way,’ she wrote. ‘I have also heard worse.
‘Until 2014 my “no” was always accepted, although now I wonder if my career was affected by turning down these men who always held more power than I did?’
She explained that she was moved to go public about her alleged abuse by the Harvey Weinstein scandal as well the sexual harassment claims that have rocked Parliament.
She wrote: ‘I’ve been encouraged to come forward by watching the brave women in Hollywood tell their stories of unwanted sexual advances and assaults as well as the courageous women who have recounted what happened to them at the hands of politicians.
‘I know these stories circulated for years and after hearing of recent issues I realize there is also a whisper network for women in medicine.
She added: ‘By the way, if you ask why I didn’t go to the police you can put yourself firmly in the “how poorly society treats women who speak out” camp.
THE MOMENTUM OF THE #METOO CAMPAIGN
Harvey Weinstein was checked into rehab after the sexual harassment claims
In the wake of sexual misconduct revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and dozens of other men, millions worldwide have shared their stories about being sexually harassed and assaulted.
The movement began spontaneously in October after actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: ‘If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write “me too” as a reply to this tweet.’
The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours. The #MeToo movement was founded by activist Tarana Burke on Twitter a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence.
It prompted Time magazine to name ‘The Silence Breakers’ – the women behind the #MeToo movement – as its Person of the Year for 2017.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood sparked a flurry of allegations in other industries and prompted women to come forward to accuse multiple members of the British Parliament of sexual harassment.
Nearly 100 women have complained that the disgraced movie mogul harassed or raped them, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd.
And now several other of Hollywood’s biggest names have been accused of sexual misconduct, including Ben Affleck, Chris Savino and more.
In the UK, the Prime Minister has expressed ‘deep concern’ over claims of a list of alleged ‘sex-pest’ MPs.