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This isn’t the first time Warren spoke about that office incident

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WASHINGTON — When Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday told a national television audience a personal story of sexual harassment from her days as a young law professor, she described a harrowing incident that left her shaken. She said that she wondered if she’d done something to deserve it and that she told no one but a close friend.

But the tone of her telling, recounted on NBC’S “Meet the Press,’’ appears to be inconsistent with the reportedly more lighthearted manner in which she described the same incident two decades after it occurred, during the memorial service for the senior University of Houston faculty member she accused of pursuing her around his office.

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During the service after his death in 1997, Warren spoke fondly of law professor Eugene Smith and told the gathered mourners she was laughing as Smith chased her around his desk, according to a colleague’s memoir. The writer of the memoir, however, now says he might have treated the incident too lightly.

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