Clementi's Older Brother: I Don't Hate Tyler's Roommate

Friday, February 03, 2012

The brother of the Rutgers student who committed suicide said he did not hate the roommate who secretly streamed a video of his brother on the Internet with another man days before he jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

“I hate what he did,” said James Clementi, older brother of Tyler Clementi, who died in September 2010.  

Tyler was a freshman at Rutgers University when his roommate Dharun Ravi streamed a video of him in an intimate embrace with another man on the internet. Clementi leapt to his death days later.

James, who is also gay, said he had planned to counsel Tyler but he never got the chance.   

"We had just started to really have that conversation with each other," James told WNYC’s The Takeaway on Friday. "I definitely thought that there were years and decades left for us to get to know each other and to talk about that."

This week, James Clementi published "Letters to My Brother" in Out Magazine, which tell the story of brotherhood cut short. 

"When you were here with me, you had no idea how important you were," he writes. "It took your death to make that point. Now you are gone. How will you know how much I love you, how much we all do?"

Speaking on Friday, Clementi offered advice to young gay people thinking of following his brother's dark path.

"Never give up,” he said. “Never end your life. Your life is the most precious thing that you have. There's always hope as long as you keep fighting."


Comments [2]

Jeanie from New Jersey

Seems James Clementi is full of hatred for Dharun Ravi. Very understandable as he lost his brother Tyler. But how MUCH did James or his parents reach out or go visit Tyler in the weeks he was at Rutgers? They blame Dharun for not getting to know him. Tyler was excited to be at Rutgers as he was FINALLY free to date a gay guy and free to express his physical need, which he could not do at home or when living at home. Dharun Ravi did play a prank but seems like the Clementi family is looking for 100% blame to rest on Dharun who knew him for less than 25 days. Ridiculous! How MUCH, I ask, how MUCH did they help Tyler get over his shame of being gay which he told them of just before leaving for college and for the record we know his mother was not accepting. They had made him feel guilty about it. And the memories after losing anyone, is deep and painful. Why is that also being blamed on Dharun? So they are blaming Dharun 100% for their son's death, Maybe one day they will look deep within and accept that Dharun did not cause Tyler's death. Also, when their religion says honor a person and raise them higher after their death, the Clementis feel they must keep putting down Dharun to assuage their son's suicide. I wonder if Dharun had been Jewish or Tyler had been of Indian origin, how this would have played out!

May. 21 2012 11:10 AM
VeroveeNYC from Brooklyn

Though I do not condone the roommate's actions, I do think it is incorrect to continue to refer to them as "streamed a video of him in an intimate embrace with another man on the internet."
Perhaps watching his webcam from another room is properly referred to as "streaming", but it is not my understanding that it was on the internet for all to see. What was put on the internet was the roommate's comments that he had seen his roommate (Clementi) with another man. There is misinformation about this case that NPR itself has tried to clarify. We need to be consistent, so we realize just what it is that Ravi is charged with and what he did.

Feb. 22 2012 05:35 PM

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