Fight Over Boy Behind Harvard's Racist Email Mess

Tipsters give inside story of Stephanie Grace, Yelena Shagall
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2010 12:18 PM CDT
Gawker has photos of Stephanie Grace, left, and Yelena Shagall, right.   (Gawker)

(Newser) – Who and what was behind the outing of Stephanie Grace, the Harvard Law student whose possibly racist email from November recently became a nationwide scandal? Turns out the whole thing might be due to a fight over a boy. Gawker claims Grace wrote the e-mail to two former friends after a dinner debate on affirmative action, and one of those friends—Yelena Shagall—publicized the e-mail 6 months later after getting in a fight with Grace.

A tipster tells Gawker that Grace confronted Shagall about sleeping with a mutual friend’s ex-boyfriend, and Shagall screamed at Grace that she would “ruin her life.” After mean messages (basically calling her “demon spawn,” Above the Law reports) left on Facebook photos didn’t quite do the trick, Shagall allegedly forwarded the mail (she denies it). Shagall—who has her own racially divisive views, Gawker notes—even changed her Facebook status to “Karma ;)” as the backlash against Grace began.

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