New accuser: Conyers ran hand up thigh in church
Washington — Another woman who worked for longtime U.S. Rep. John Conyers is accusing him of touching her inappropriately “by stroking and rubbing my thighs” and appearing naked before her.
Elisa Grubbs, who said she worked for Conyers from 2001-13, claims she also witnessed him touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of Marion Brown, Grubbs’ cousin, and other female employees of the congressman on “multiple occasions.”
“When Rep. Conyers would inappropriately touched me like this, my eyes would pop out and I would be stunned in disbelief,” Grubbs wrote in an affidavit posted on Twitter by Brown’s attorney, Lisa Bloom.
Calls for his resignation reached the highest levels of House leadership last week, as Brown and another accuser went public detailing his alleged misconduct.
Supporters held a rally in Detroit on Monday to call for Conyers to receive “due process” and for critics to stop pressuring him to step down.
“My client Marion Brown asks only for an acknowledgment and apology,” Bloom said on Twitter.
Grubbs described a time that Conyers slid his hand up her skirt while she was sitting next to him in the front row of a church.
She said she was startled and jumped to her feet, exclaiming, “He just ran his hand up my thigh!” — an incident she said was witnessed by other staffers.
On another occasion, she was at Conyers’ home when he emerged from the bathroom naked, she said. Grubbs ran out of the house.
“Witnessing Rep. Conyers rub women’s thighs and buttocks and make comments about women’s physical attributes was a regular part of life while working in the office of Rep. Conyers,” Grubbs wrote.
Conyers’ lawyer, Arnold Reed, dismissed the new allegations late Monday.
“With regard to the latest #affidavit just released, this is nothing more than tomfoolery coming from the mouth of Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer and unworthy of further comment,” Reed tweeted.
Bloom had represented Weinstein, the Hollywood producer, against several claims of sexual harassment.
Brown broke a confidentiality agreement to go on NBC’s “Today Show” on Thursday, describing what led her to file a 2014 complaint against her boss, alleging she was fired for refusing his sexual advances.
Conyers settled Brown’s complaint for $27,000 using his taxpayer-funded office budget. Brown has offered to testify before the House Ethics Committee, which is investigating Conyers.
The Detroit News first reported last week that former staffer Deanna Maher said Conyers sexually harassed her, including inappropriately touching her, in three incidents spanning 1997 to 1999. And another former staffer filed a lawsuit in federal court this year alleging sexual harassment by Conyers but later withdrew the complaint to protect the congressman’s reputation.
Grubbs indicated in her affidavit that she’s also willing to testify under oath.
Grubbs attended a fundraiser with Conyers and Brown in 2005 at a Chicago hotel, where she overheard Conyers ask Brown to come to his hotel room because he needed her help with something, she said.
Grubbs said she later picked up her cousin, Brown, at the hotel and that she was “physically shaken and upset,” with red eyes.
“Ms. Brown then proceeded to tell me and my mother that, ‘That SOB just wanted me to have sex with him!” Grubb recalled.
Brown had said on NBC last week that Conyers had invited her to a hotel room in Chicago under the guise of discussing business but was in his underwear when she arrived.
“He asked me to satisfy him sexually,” Brown said. “He pointed to areas of, genital areas of his body, and asked me to, you know, touch it.”
Grubbs said Conyers regularly undressed in front of female employees and, at times, would call staffers in only to emerge from his private bathroom in his underwear.
Grubbs said she complained to Conyers’ chief of staff and to the staff director of the House Judiciary Committee on which Conyers serves.
“Despite my complaints, no action was taken and Rep. Conyers’ inappropriate conduct continued,” Grubbs wrote.