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allegations
November 28, 2018

Over the last decade, Eric Bauman, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, has routinely made crude sexual remarks, touched people without their consent, and acted physically intimidating, 10 party staffers and political activists told the Los Angeles Times.

Last week, Vice Chairman Daraka Larimore-Hall wrote a letter calling on Bauman to resign due to his "horrific and dehumanizing behavior," and he took a leave of absence. Bauman, a former nurse turned union organizer, is known for being brash, the people who spoke to the Times said, and his inappropriate behavior often took place during work hours. Eight current staffers said he made sexually explicit comments to both men and women, talked about their genitalia, and brought up sexual acts. Bauman, who is gay, also allegedly spoke about being sexually attracted to staffers.

One gay male party official told the Times Bauman asked him during a professional event about his sex life, and he witnessed him taunt staff members over their looks and sexual orientation. Grace Leekley, 21, a temporary staffer, said earlier this month Bauman asked her and digital director Kate Early, 21, if they were having an affair; when they said they weren't, he pushed the issue and said he would be fine with them having a sexual relationship as long as it didn't affect their work. Leekley told the Times she was "really embarrassed, almost ashamed, and uncomfortable."

In a statement, Bauman said he "deeply regrets" if his behavior "has caused pain to any to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I've had the privilege to work. I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories." He added that he is "immediately" seeking "medical intervention to address serious, ongoing health issues and to begin treatment for what I now realize is an issue with alcohol." Read more about the allegations against Bauman at the Los Angeles Times. Catherine Garcia

November 14, 2018

After being arrested Wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence, lawyer Michael Avenatti called the allegations "completely bogus."

Avenatti, who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels, has been a cable news mainstay for the last year. After being arrested in West Los Angeles, Avenatti was booked into jail and released on a $50,000 bond. In a statement, Avenatti thanked Los Angeles Police Department officers for "their professionalism," and denied the "completely bogus" allegations. "I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night," he said. "Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated."

Avenatti also spoke to reporters, saying he's "not going to be intimidated from stopping what I am doing. I am a father to two beautiful, smart daughters. I would never disrespect them by touching a woman inappropriately or striking a woman." When the news first broke about his arrest, TMZ reported that a law enforcement official said Avenatti's estranged wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, filed the report on Tuesday night. Storie-Avenatti's lawyer released a statement saying she was not the woman involved, and "states that there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone." Catherine Garcia

October 8, 2018

In her new memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little, actress Busy Philipps says her Freaks and Geeks co-star James Franco physically assaulted her while they were filming a scene.

The book is out Oct. 16, and Yahoo Entertainment reports that in it, Philipps writes that Franco was a "f—ing bully" on the set. Philipps says she was directed to gently hit Franco on the chest while delivering a line, which set him off. "He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, 'DON'T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!'" she said. "And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me."

Philipps said the cast and crew members who saw this were shocked, and co-star Linda Cardellini told her to call her manager. Franco apologized the next day, but Philipps said it was only because he was told to by producers, and he was not reprimanded. Over the last year, Franco has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, and denies the allegations. He did not respond to Yahoo's request for comment. Catherine Garcia

September 26, 2018

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) says an investigation into domestic abuse allegations would find him innocent.

Ellison's ex-girlfriend accused him of physical and emotional abuse in August, which the Democrat flatly denied. BuzzFeed News reports that Ellison on Wednesday joined his Democratic colleagues in calling for a House investigation of the allegations.

"I will submit a request for a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations against me raised by a former partner," said Ellison. "I am taking this step now because I am innocent and eager to see this entire matter resolved."

He won the Democratic primary for Minnesota attorney general just days after his ex-girlfriend, Karen Monahan, said he verbally berated her and once tried to drag her off a bed. Calling the allegations "unsubstantiated," Ellison said a formal probe would "allow us to move on." Other lawmakers, like Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), have said that Ellison's conduct should be investigated.

An independent attorney has already completed a probe of the allegations, and Ellison said the results "should be made public soon." Read more at BuzzFeed News. Summer Meza

September 17, 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he is "willing to talk" to the Senate Judiciary Committee to "refute" the "false allegation" of sexual misconduct, CNN reported Monday.

Christine Ford came forward Sunday to allege that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Her attorney said Ford is ready to testify publicly. In a new statement, Kavanaugh reiterated his denial of the accusation, saying "this never happened," and said he would be willing to testify before the committee as well. Read his full statement below. Summer Meza

August 30, 2018

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan had a "rocky" relationship before Monahan accused him of emotionally abusing her, sources told The New York Times.

Ellison won the Democratic primary for Minnesota attorney general just days after Monahan said he verbally berated her and once tried to drag her off a bed; Ellison categorically denied the claim. Monahan said that she survived the congressman's "narcissist abuse," saying, "It's the gaslighting, it's the habitual lying ... It was crazy-making."

Monahan reportedly accused Ellison's current girlfriend of stealing him away, and a friend said Monahan frequently accused him of cheating during their relationship. While Ellison's other former partners say they've never witnessed him treat women badly, Monahan's son said he found a video of the alleged bed altercation.

One Ellison friend told the Times that Monahan and Ellison "didn't bring out the best in each other," especially when they continued to live together after ending their relationship. Ellison's supporters say Monahan's allegations are politically motivated, while Monahan's say her account should be believed. Read more at The New York Times. Summer Meza

April 27, 2018

A former NBC News correspondent told The Washington Post in a report published late Thursday that during the 1990s, former anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted sexual advances toward her, once forcibly trying to kiss her after inviting himself into her hotel room.

Brokaw fiercely disputed claims from the woman, Linda Vester, calling her descriptions "melodramatic" and akin to a "drive-by shooting" in a letter circulated to NBC News colleagues Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Brokaw characterized Vester as a bitter ex-employee who wanted to attack NBC because of her "limited success" at the network.

"I should not have gone but I emphatically did not verbally and physically attack her and suggest an affair in language right out of pulp fiction," Brokaw said in the letter of the hotel room meeting. The letter also criticized Vester for making the allegations public in the Post rather than mentioning her discomfort to Brokaw first. "She couldn't pick up the phone and say, 'I'd like to talk. I have issues from those two meetings 20 years ago'? Instead she became a character assassin. Strip away all of the hyperbole and what has she achieved? What was her goal? Hard to believe it wasn't much more Look At Me than Me:Too."

Brokaw has additionally denied allegations from another woman, a former production assistant who asked to remain anonymous, who told the Post that Brokaw grabbed her hands and put them under his jacket and against his chest in the 1990s. Both women said they did not file a complaint for fear of retribution. Read more at the Los Angeles Times. Summer Meza

April 26, 2018

A former NBC News correspondent told The Washington Post that during the 1990s, former anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted sexual advances toward her, once forcibly trying to kiss her after inviting himself into her hotel room.

Linda Vester, who was in her 20s at the time, tells the Post she did not file a complaint because she was worried about retribution. "I am speaking out now because NBC has failed to hire outside counsel to investigate a genuine, long-standing problem of sexual misconduct in the news division," she said. Another woman, a former production assistant who asked to remain anonymous, told the Post that Brokaw acted inappropriately with her in the 1990s, grabbing her hands and putting them under his jacket and against his chest.

Brokaw denied the allegations, telling the Post: "The meetings were brief, cordial, and appropriate, and despite Linda's allegations, I made no romantic overtures toward her, at that time or any other." Late last year, NBC fired Today co-host Matt Lauer after he was accused of sexual misconduct. The Post spoke with 12 female NBC staffers who said they were sexually harassed but never reported it; three said the harassment came from Lauer — one woman said he exposed himself in his office, another said she had sex with him in his office in the middle of the day, and a third said he gave her a sex toy.

Three of Lauer's supporters told the Post that the relationships were consensual, and in a statement, Lauer acknowledged that he "acted inappropriately as a husband, father, and principal at NBC. However, I want to make it perfectly clear that any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive, or abusive actions on my part, at any time, are absolutely false." For more on how NBC News has handled sexual misconduct allegations and the warning Ann Curry says NBC ignored, visit The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

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