Ever since victims of sexual harassment have started speaking out following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, several people from all walks of life have been accused of such activities.
This time around, it was the US senate where the scandal emerged. Veteran Democrat John Conyers announced on Tuesday that he is retiring from the US House of Representatives after being in the office for more than five decades. He had to make this decision after a series of sexual harassment allegations by former staffers popped up against him.
“I am retiring today,” Conyers, 88, told a Detroit radio station, as he became the first to step down among four serving US lawmakers facing sexual misconduct allegations.
Speaking from an unnamed hospital where he reportedly was being treated for stress-related complications, the longest-serving member of Congress maintained that the allegations against him “are not true.”
He also took the opportunity to endorse his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in his congressional seat.
According to reports, several female former staffers have come forward in the past two weeks with sexual harassment allegations against him. One of them, identified as Marion Brown, broke a Non-Disclosure Agreement she was made to sign, saying that she felt ‘compelled’ to do so.
“It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business and then propositioning me for sex,” Brown told NBC.
After the implications of such allegations became apparent, Democrats abandoned the lawmaker and asked him to resign as this could have an adverse effect for them in the coming mid-term elections.
Jerrold Nadler has replaced Conyers when he stepped down from his role on the House Judiciary Committee.