​Remembering Tyler Clementi

Parents seek an end to bullying 09:27

"I wanted to talk to my parents. And that was really the scariest conversation that I could imagine having."

But in the summer of 2010, right before Tyler went to Rutgers, James did reach out to his younger brother -- and they both came out to each other.

"He seemed very relieved to have it be out in the open," said James. "And it actually felt great. It felt like this huge weight was lifted."

And then just three days before he left for college, Tyler decided to come out to his mother.

She felt the conversation went well: "We both were crying. And we were both hugging each other. We even talked about being safe 'cause I was concerned that he wouldn't be safe."

"And what do you mean by safe?" asked Moriarty.

"I just had this sense of harm," she sighed. "I know it's hard to understand, and strange to go back to that place. There was a suicide of a junior in the high school in June. So we had talked about suicide. And at the time, I really couldn't understand how anyone could be so, so sad to harm themselves. I've since learned how you can be that sad."

After his death, Jane learned that Tyler thought she had rejected him when he came out to her. "Yes, that was a terrible moment to know that that's how Tyler thought our encounter was, because it was so far from the truth, or my truth. And yet, it probably was his truth."

And Jane didn't know what Tyler had gone through at school until nearly two years later, when in February 2012, Dharun Ravi went on trial.

Witnesses said that Ravi and Molly Wei -- using the hidden webcam pointed at Tyler's bed -- watched a few seconds of Tyler kissing his date. Ravi then announced on Twitter there would be a viewing party for a second live showing.

When Tyler learned he had been spied on in his dorm room, he complained to the university and asked for a roommate change, but he never said anything to his family.

"He wouldn't let me help him," said Jane. "And a mom is supposed to know everything, aren't they? And I didn't know this. And I couldn't help him."

"Why do you think he didn't reach out to you?" Moriarty asked James. "He knew if there was one person who would understand, it was you?"

"I think about that question every day," he replied. "And I don't have an answer. He just saw the dorm, the Twitter feed. He became very fixated on that and didn't see beyond it."

At 8:42 on the night of Sept. 22, 2010, Tyler posted a simple message on Facebook: "Jumping off the G.W. Bridge - sorry."

"The last thing on his computer, before he left for New York, were these posts of people making fun and jokes at him, about him, about a really private, private moment that should've remained that way," said Jane.

Molly Wei entered a plea agreement and avoided prosecution. But in March 2012, Dharun Ravi -- who was never charged with causing Tyler's death -- was convicted on 15 counts, including bias intimidation (a hate crime). He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was released after 20. The case is still on appeal by both sides.

Tyler's parents told Moriarty that his roommate never reached out to either one of them to apologize.