Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Is Someone Trying To Blackmail Paul Berman?

An article by writer Paul Berman about threats he says he’s received from an unnamed professor is setting off a guessing game about the alleged blackmailer’s identity.

In his essay posted Monday morning at Tablet, where he is a columnist, Berman claimed that he is the target of blackmail threats from a “well-known professor at one of the New York colleges, who is also a columnist at a liberal magazine.”

Berman is a widely-publisher journalist and public intellectual who himself has taught at a number of universities.

According to Berman, an unnamed professor has been threatening to publish erotic correspondence sent between Berman and an unidentified person. The professor has demanded that Berman publish a “self-denunciation” in Tablet. Berman does not say exactly what the professor wants him to denounce himself for; it appears to be connected to Berman’s support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Berman did not respond immediately respond to an emailed query about the person’s identity.

Berman does not say in the essay whether he has reported the alleged blackmail to police. The essay’s headline suggests that “nothing can be done,” but blackmail is a crime in New York.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.