You never expected this would explode into a conflict, but that seems to be what's happening. Someone has a bruised ego. And that's never a pretty thing to deal with. It might be a good idea (just for the sake of your own sanity) to lay low. Do your own thing. Do some research. Listen to what other people have to say. There's no sense in bringing your own ego into the mix, and if you play it cool for a while you'll have so much more leverage later on.