Accuser says GOP lawmaker 'blackballed' her from finding another job after settling sexual harassment suit

Accuser says GOP lawmaker 'blackballed' her from finding another job after settling sexual harassment suit
© Greg Nash

The former communications director for GOP Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdThe biggest political upsets of the decade Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE says in a new interview that she was "blackballed" in politics after accusing the Texas lawmaker of sexually harassing her. 

“I was told right away that I would be, quote-unquote, ‘blackballed’ if I came forward. … That’s exactly what happened,” Lauren Greene told Politico Monday, in her first interview since she made the accusations against Farenthold in 2014.

Greene, who had worked her way up from a Capitol Hill intern in 2009 to the communications director for a congressman in 2014, said she had trouble finding any kind of relevant work after she filed a complaint about the workplace atmosphere.

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“It’s definitely turned my life upside down,” Greene said.

Earlier Monday, Farenthold announced he would be repaying taxpayers for the cost of Greene's sexual harassment settlement, $84,000.

“It’s been a tough road," Greene said. "Emotionally, it was tough. Professionally, it’s been hard to figure out next steps. And it’s definitely had an impact on my career.”

In her December 2014 lawsuit, Greene accused Farenthold of a range of misconduct including sexual harassment, gender discrimination and fostering a hostile work environment. 

She also recalled occasions when other aides mentioned inappropriate remarks said by the married lawmaker, including asides about "wet dreams" and telling a female staffer that she could wear shirts that showed her nipples.

A confidentiality agreement in the settlement prevented Green from publicly coming forward with her story, but she broke with the deal to describe the fallout she faced from her complaint.

Greene said her inability to land a new job meant that her parents had to step in and support her financially as she bounced from one temporary job to the next, according to the report.