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 lawyer to detail her history with the 88-year-old representative from Detroit, for whom she had worked for 11 years.
‘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.’
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 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 elected post, 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.
‘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.
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
Parts of Brown’s story 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.
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.’
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.