He acknowledged dating and expressing interest in women with whom he had professional connections, including interns and writers for the magazine, conduct that he acknowledged was “an abuse of my position.” He told the board that he had occasionally engaged in sexual behavior in the office after hours, but said that in all instances, the sexual contact was consensual and had happened when he was single. Mr. Stein was married in 2015.
Still, he said he knew that some of his behavior had made his colleagues feel uncomfortable. “The way I behaved was hurtful, degrading and infuriating to a degree that I have only begun to understand this past month,” he wrote.
Mr. Stein’s resignation will likely roil the literary world, where he is a widely respected figure, regarded by many as a champion of new talent, particularly women writers, and celebrated as an editor whose critical eye has helped define and shape the landscape of contemporary American fiction.
Despite the Paris Review’s relatively small circulation, it has an outsized influence in publishing. Founded in Paris in 1953 by George Plimpton, Peter Matthiessen and Harold L. Humes, the publication has catapulted the careers of writers like Rick Moody, Jack Kerouac, Philip Roth and Adrienne Rich.
The board’s decision to review Mr. Stein’s behavior came after he informed board members that his name had appeared on a list created after the Harvey Weinstein scandal to anonymously crowdsource allegations of harassment and misconduct by men in publishing and media. The magazine had been largely run day-to-day by Mr. Stein but is also overseen by a board of literary and publishing elites, including its president, Terry McDonell, a former top magazine editor, the novelist Jeffrey Eugenides and Mona Simpson, an author.
Asked to comment on his decision, Mr. Stein said that his letter of resignation, which he provided, spoke for itself.
The Paris Review board did not have a statement on Wednesday.
Mr. Stein also resigned on Wednesday from his position at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, where he was an editor at large, according to Jeff Seroy, a senior vice president at FSG.