I am a female undergraduate student and in a bit of a situation here.
Last semester, I had a male graduate teaching assistant for one of my classes, and I got the very strong impression for months that this TA was romantically interested in me because of his behavior. He'd turn others away from office hours if it was just the two of us, often brush up against me or touch my arm when there was no need, offer unprompted help to me with things outside of class, and generally pay me more mind than other students in the class either by calling on me more or conversing with me more than others. Other people also got that idea and I was recently asked by a former classmate if we were sleeping together because of his perceived preferential treatment of me.
So I had to explain that no, we weren't, which was very awkward and humiliating (my peers think I slept with him for an A - that's a gross feeling). And I sorta flipped out on the TA and sent him an email essentially calling him out for those behaviors. I also figured it would be best to create some distance between us so as not to feed the rumor mill. I didn't want to cut ties with him because I did like him as a person and a friend; losing that has been really devastating, but I thought that was the most practical response since I didn't know how serious that kind of rumor was or if it could hurt either of us professionally.
The TA hates me now, my peers still think I slept my way to an A, and I feel in over my head. None of that really feels dealt with or better.
Do I need to be worried about a rumor like that? Might there ever be a way to salvage the relationship with the TA someday? Should I do anything else?