Tennessee Student Starts Newspaper to Reveal Ex-Wife’s Affair with Professor

The Athenaeum News is perhaps the strangest— and most vengeful– student media start-up this semester.  A 40-year-old sophomore journalism and electronic media major at the University of Tennessee recently began publishing the weekly paper to publicly share details of an affair between his now ex-wife and a UT professor.

Interestingly, in a quick online scan, it seems like a standard student publication– complete with sports, campus life, and arts and culture features and ads for State Farm, U-Haul, and local restaurants.  But its chief purpose, main news reports, and subsequent publicity have been “devoted so far to the affair its founder, Mustapha Moussa, blames for breaking up his marriage.”

Apparently, Moussa’s ex-wife entered into a flirtatious relationship with a UT geography professor in 2006 while still his student.  She was also still married to Moussa at the time.  She has since divorced him and married the professor.

As The Knoxville News Sentinel reports, “The first story [in the Athenaeum News] ran Aug. 29 under Moussa’s byline and consisted mainly of steamy quotes from the professor’s emails [to Moussa’s ex-wife while she was still in the professor’s class] and excerpts from records of a UT investigation into the affair.  The story also included anonymous quotes attributed to former geography students, calling [the professor] ‘creepy’ and ‘despicable’ and accusing him of trying to sleep with students.”

Critics are accusing Moussa of character assassination, press-pulpit bullying, and general creepiness.  He counters that he is attempting to alert campus about a figure he feels is a danger to students and fighting a university he contends is wrong for letting him continue teaching there.

In his words, “I’m effecting change.  This university has cut [the professor] slack, and I don’t know why.  Students get thrown out of the university just for having a beer on campus.  I feel like I’m fighting a giant.  The more pressure we put on the university, the better, and I’ll be happy to see him out of this campus.”

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