In a shocking development, the chief scientist at SENS Research Foundation in Silicon Valley has been suspended by his agency after he allegedly ordered an intern to have intercourse with potential donors.
Aubrey de Grey, 58, was suspended by the SENS Research Foundation after being accused of sexual harassment by Celine Halioua and Laura Deming -- two prominent entrepreneurs in the field of healthy life span extension.
Both the ladies shared their horrible experiences with De Gray on August 10 via Twitter and personal blogs.
Aubrey de Grey Instructed an Intern to Sleep with SENS Donors to Encourage Financial Contributions
Celine Halioua, 26, claims that the Cambridge graduate plied her with drink, called her a 'glorious woman' and told her she had a responsibility to have sex with donors at a dinner she attended while working as an intern at SENS in 2016, according to Daily Mail.
'Aubrey funneled me alcohol and hit on me all the night time. He instructed me that I used to be a "superb girl" and that as an excellent girl I had a duty to have intercourse with the SENS donors in attendance so they might give cash to him,' Halioua wrote, according to trendswide.com.
Laura Deming Who Once Considered De Grey a Trusted Mentor Described Her 'Bad Experience' With Him
Laura Deming was only 17 when, she alleges, de Grey told her he wanted to speak with her about his adventurous love life, reported The Scientist Magazine. 'I didn't expect a trusted mentor I'd known since childhood to hit on me so blatantly, and insinuate that it had been on his mind for a while,' she wrote.
Deming says that when she recently became aware that this was not a one-off incident, she was "angry to realize that Aubrey inappropriately propositioned more than one woman over whom he was in a position of power, many in the community knew about it, and no one did anything," she said.
Who is Aubrey de Grey?
Aubrey de Grey, originally from England, is the jet-setting gerontologist who co-founded the SENS Research Foundation to discover ways to reverse the ravages of aging. He believes that medical technology may enable human beings alive today not to die from age-related causes.
He received an elite British education, first attending the Â£42,000-per-year Harrow School on the outskirts of London and then going up to Cambridge University to study computer science, reported the Daily Mail.
De Grey was also the editor-in-chief of Rejuvenation Research, a somewhat fringy journal devoted to advances that may help slow or reverse the aging process, reported STAT.
De Grey Posted a Response on Facebook Denying the Allegations
De Grey denied the allegations in a post on Facebook, and SENS issued a statement saying he had been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
"What could also be extra shocking to you is that this: my perception is that each Laura and Celine have been deceived into the view that I've carried out many issues that I've actually not carried out. Nonetheless, since they've chosen to go public, I'm left with no alternative however to do the identical," he wrote.
What About the Investigation?
Meanwhile, SENS Acting Executive Director Lisa Fabiny tells STAT in an emailed statement that the foundation, where de Grey is chief scientific officer, first became aware of Deming's and Halioua's stories in June and has since commissioned an independent investigation of the claims. She stated that her agency would take the findings critically and "if applicable, take decisive motion."
In a press release to STAT, she stated her agency didn't "condone habits that makes our colleagues and members of our scientific group really feel victimized, focused or harmed."