'He just violated my body': John Conyers' former staffer who accused congressman of sexual misconduct and then agreed to a settlement breaks her silence - but Democrat's attorney says he has no plans to resign
- Marion Brown spoke out about allegations on Today Show Thursday, thus violating her nondisclosure agreement after her 2015 settlement?
- Brown, a single mom-of-two and grandmother, worked for Rep John Conyers for 11 years until her firing in 2014
- She alleged that Conyers, who is married, stripped down to his underwear in a Chicago hotel room in 2005 and told her to touch his genitals and 'satisfy' him?
- Brown alleged that Conyers repeatedly propositioned her for sex, touched and 'violated' her in ways that she said made her 'uncomfortable'?
- Deanne Maher, who ran a Michigan office for Conyers from 1997 to 2005, said he stripped down to his underwar in front of her and ate sandwiches?
- Conyers, 88, longest-serving member of the House, has denied any wrongdoing and said through his lawyer that he will not resign ? ?
The former aide to Congressman John Conyers who had received a settlement after accusing the Democrat of sexual harassment, and was later fired, broke her silence for the first time on Thursday, claiming that the veteran lawmaker 'violated’ her body and asked her to find other women to sexually satisfy him.
Marion Brown, a single mother of two grown daughters and a grandmother, appeared on the Today Show?with her attorney Lisa Bloom to detail her history with the 88-year-old representative from Detroit, for whom she had worked for 11 years.
She claimed her boss made unwelcome sexual advances multiple times , but she stayed on the job because she needed to support her family and found the work rewarding.
‘It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business and propositioning for sex,’ Brown told Savannah Guthrie. ‘He just violated my body, he's touched me in different ways. It was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional.’
Just a few hours after Brown's explosive interview aired, Conyers' family announced the congressman was hospitalized for a 'stress-related illness.' His condition is not known at this time.
Accuser speaks out: Marion Brown, an ex-aide to Rep John Conyers, appears on Today Show Thursday to detail allegations of sexual misconduct against her former boss?
Rising her voice: Brown, flanked by attorney Lisa Bloom, tells Savannah Guthrie that she decided to violate her NDA for the sake of her daughters and granddaughter?
Defiant: Conyers, pictured on November 3 outside the Capitol, has denied any wrongdoing and said through his lawyer on Thursday that he has no intention to vacate his elected post
Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House, has denied any wrongdoing and said through his lawyer on Thursday that he has no intention to vacate his seat, even though some top Democrats have been pressing him to leave.
In her interview on Today, Brown described one specific instance, which allegedly took place in a Chicago hotel room in 2005, in which she said the married legislator undressed down to his underwear in front of her and bluntly propositioned her for sex.
Former aide claims John Conyers ate sandwiches in his 'skivvies' in front of her in a hotel room?
Deanna Maher, 77, who ran a Michigan office for Rep John Conyers from 1997 to 2005, claims the lawmaker stripped in front of her during a three-day Congressional Black Caucus event in Washington, which she said she 'felt honored' to attend.
Maher said while she was in the bedroom of a hotel suite, Conyers, who is now 88, walked in, called room service and ordered sandwiches.
'I had my nightclothes on,' said Maher, who now lives in the Holland area in western Michigan.
'I was just scared to death. I was married at the time. He sat in the bedroom taking his clothes off. I didn't say anything and he didn't say anything.
Nothing happened between them, she added.
'He didn't go naked. He was down to his skivvies,' Maher said. 'He sat there eating sandwiches and then he stormed out and slammed the door. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself for being so stupid. I needed a job.'
'He didn't put his hand on me, but the message was loud and clear,' she said.
She also said he touched her leg while they were driving down the Interstate 75 - causing the car to weave around.
Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, said Maher's allegations are uncorroborated and that the Representative denies any wrongdoing.
'John Conyers has always said he's not guilty of harassing these women,' Reed said.
'Any woman or man that is violated, that's unacceptable - completely unacceptable. By the same token, a person has right to protest his innocence.
'This is what we call due process. Mr. Conyers wants to be cooperative and will be cooperative with any investigation.'?
‘He asked me to satisfy to him sexually. He pointed to genital areas of his body and asked me to touch him.
‘I was frozen shocked. I didn't want to lose my job, I didn't want to upset him. Also, he asked me to find other people that would satisfy him. I just tried to escape. I did tell him that I was not going to do that and I did not feel comfortable.’
The aide said she reported the incident to Conyers' chief of staff at the time, but no action was taken.?
'He said he would talk to the congressman about it, he didn't challenge me in disbelief. He said he would talk to the congressman about his behavior," she said. "I didn't see any change because it continued after that."?
Brown is one of several women who have recently come out accusing the veteran member of the House of sexual misconduct, harassment and bullying.
On Tuesday, Deanna Maher,?now 77, claimed that Conyers stripped down to his underwear in front of her in a hotel room and proceeded to eat sandwiches while they were on a work trip.?
Maher ran?a Michigan office for Conyers from 1997 to 2005. She noted that he never laid a hand on her. ?
Last week,?Melanie Sloan, who served as minority counsel for House Judiciary Committee, told The Washington Post and ABC that Conyers was verbally abusive towards her, and that on one occasion, she was called up to his office only to find him in his underwear. She did not accuse her former boss of sexual harassment.?
Parts of Marion Brown's narrative first emerged a week ago, without her name attached to it, when BuzzFeed News reported that a woman was paid $27,000 from Conyers' taxpayer-funded congressional office allowance.
Conyers admitted at the time to paying the settlement but denied any misconduct, stating that his office 'resolved the allegations...to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation.'
The then-unidentified accuser alleged that Conyers repeatedly asked her for sex and recounted the incident in the Chicago hotel room.
BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed Conyers touching female staffers inappropriately or requesting sexual favors.
A former scheduler filed a complaint earlier this year, but later dropped it.?
Brown was fired in 2014, allegedly for refusing Conyers' sexual advances, and a year later reached the settlement, which came with a nondisclosure agreement.?
The woman said Conyers has not released her from the NDA before she decided to identify herself and speak out publicly about the allegations.?
'I am taking a risk, and the reason why I'm taking the risk...I want to be a voice,' she said. 'I want [my granddaughter], when she enters the workforce long when I'm gone, to not have to endure sexism and gender inequality. I felt it was worth the risk to stand up for all the women in the workforce that are voiceless.'?
Latest sighting: Conyers (R),is helped by an unidetified person into a vehicle outside his house on November 29 in Detroit
Tell the truth: Brown says she wants Conyers to apologize to her for implying that she has lied about his alleged sexual misconduct
Brown explained that what prompted her to come out of the shadows was Conyers' vehement denial of the allegations against him.?
'I'm here to say I'm not a liar,' she said.
When asked if Conyers should resign, Brown said she will leave that decision up to the House Ethics Committee and his colleagues.?
'All I want from the congressman is to acknowledge what he did and apologize to me for calling me a liar,' she concluded.?
Detroit-area attorney Arnold Reed, who represents Conyers, told The Associated Press that the 88-year-old is innocent , and that anyone making inappropriate touching or other claims against his client should be prepared to back them up.
Secret talks:?House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has reportedly pressured Conyers behind the scenes to leave the chamber
'He's going to fight these allegations tooth and nail if he has to with evidence, with documentation, witnesses, whatever he has to do,' Reed said. 'And the accusers will have to prove up their case.'
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has pressured Conyers behind the scenes to leave the chamber, according to a senior House aide, who spoke late Tuesday on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Also Tuesday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Conyers and explained to one of their founding members why he should resign, but stressed the decision was up to him, the senior House aide said.
Reed said he met with Conyers, who was at his Detroit home Wednesday and mostly remained indoors before being driven away in the afternoon as reporters gathered outside the gated driveway.
His wife Monica told reporters that her husband is entitled to have the judicial process play out 'before we start being his judge and jury ... and tarnish all of these years of his legacy for nothing.'?
Conyers is among an ever-growing list of prominent men in politics, entertainment and journalism who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of explosive allegations against former Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein.?
On Wednesday, NBC's Today host Matt Lauer and humorist and Garrison Keillor were fired for inappropriate conduct in the workplace.
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