Portland hotelier Gordon Sondland faces sexual misconduct claims
Three women have publicly accused Portland hotelier-turned-ambassador Gordon Sondland of sexual misconduct in a new account.
The three, including Portland Monthly owner Nicole Vogel, insurance executive Jana Solis and former Portland City Hall aide Natalie Sept, say Sondland made aggressive sexual advances, then retaliated professionally when they said no, according to a new article published jointly by Portland Monthly and the journalism nonprofit ProPublica.
Sondland has issued a statement denying the allegations, calling them politically motivated.
Read the article in Portland Monthly.
The allegations add a new kind of spotlight on Sondland, a longtime businessman in Portland, who became a central figure in the Congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Sondland testified earlier this month that the U.S. government put pressure on U.S. ally Ukraine and withheld military aid in an exchange for an investigation the president wanted into his political rival Joe Biden.
According to the Portland Monthly article, "All three women have agreed to be named in this story. In all the cases, friends, family members or colleagues of the women recall being told about the encounters at the time." The article also cites emails.
Sondland's statement said that "In decades of my career in business and civic affairs, my conduct can be affirmed by hundreds of employees and colleagues with whom I have worked in countless circumstances ... These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes. They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them."
Five journalists worked on the article: Portland Monthly reporters Fiona McCann, Julia Silverman and Kelly Clarke, as well as ProPublica's Maryam Jameel and Doris Burke.
The magazine said that it parntered with ProPublica because of Vogel's relationship to Portland Monthly.
"Vogel was interviewed separately by ProPublica, who also spoke to the people she told at the time," the magazine reported. Vogel was reportedly not involved in the writing or editing of the story, and did not see early drafts of the article prior to its publication.
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