Former North Andover prep school headmaster responds to charges of inappropriate tie to student

The former headmaster of an elite North Andover prep school said Friday that reports that he had an inappropriate relationship with a student and had hired escorts had caused him and his wife “great pain, sadness and embarrassment.”

Lawrence Becker, the headmaster at the Brooks School from 1986 to 2008, said in a statement released by his lawyer that the school’s disclosure “encourages serious questions and speculation about my relationships with students over the years.”

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In an e-mail to parents and alumni Thursday, school officials said Becker had engaged in a relationship with a student that raised “grave concerns,” the Globe reported today.

Becker’s conduct, they said, was “objectionable, manipulative, and an abuse of his position.”

Becker today did not explicitly deny the inappropriate relationship, but implied that the thousands of students he had worked with would defend him.

“They know the answers to those questions,” he said. “I leave the responses to them.”