Report: Conyers settled wrongful dismissal complaint over ‘sexual advances’
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), the longest-serving current House member, reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after a former employee accused him of firing her for resisting his “sexual advances.”
Four former staffers signed affidavits, three of which were notarized, saying that Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly engaged in unwanted sexual behavior with his female staff, BuzzFeed News reported Monday night.
Documents examined by BuzzFeed described a wide-range of inappropriate conduct, including making requests for sexual favors, caressing and touching, as well as having his staff contact and transport women they believed were sexually involved with him.
Four unnamed sources who were involved with the case confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the documents are authentic.
Two women wrote in their affidavits that they believed Conyers used office resources to pay for the travels of women with whom he was having affairs. Another staffer described the task of driving women to and from the lawmaker’s apartment and hotel rooms.
The woman who claimed wrongful dismissal claims that Conyers would ask her to work with him in private rooms where he would allegedly start describing sexual fantasies to her, including encouraging her to touch his penis.
Another former employee recalled a similar incident, in which Conyers asked her to “just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go” after she refused his request to stay with him overnight after traveling to a fundraising event. x
“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee reportedly said in the documents.
Conyers’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The alleged victim told BuzzFeed she “was basically blackballed” over the incident. “There was nowhere I could go,” she said.
The unnamed woman filed her first complaint in 2014 and eventually signed a confidentiality agreement that included a settlement of $27,111.75. The Michigan lawmaker did not admit fault in the settlement deal.
The incident comes amid a flood of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men in politics, media and entertainment.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has been accused of groping at least two women without their consent, while GOP leaders have called on Alabama special election candidate Roy Moore to drop out of the race amid allegations that he initiated sexual encounters with teenagers while he was in his 30s.
Mike Cernovich, a Trump supporter who is known to flame false conspiracy theories, first provided the story to BuzzFeed News, which said it then “independently confirmed the authenticity of the documents with four people directly involved with the case, including the accuser.”
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.