Former Female Aide Accuses Congressman Of Sexual Harassment

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A former female aide to Rep. Blake Farenthold is suing her former boss, accusing the Texas Republican of firing her after making a series of unwanted sexual advances.

Lauren Greene, who served as both new media director and communications director for the congressman in 2013 and 2014, filed suit against Farenthold’s congressional office in D.C. federal court last week.

The lawsuit, posted online by the National Law Journal, accuses the congressional office of “unlawful employment practices.”

Greene, who now lives in South Carolina, is accusing Farenthold of talking about sex with her and telling her colleagues that he had “sexual fantasies” about her.

“Farenthold regularly drank to excess, and because of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on ‘red head patrol’ to keep him out of trouble,” the suit reads.

Greene says in the lawsuit that in February, Farenthold told her that he was “estranged from his wife and that he had not had sex with her in years.” She also accuses Farenthold of telling a staff meeting that a female lobbyist once propositioned him for a “threesome.”

According to the lawsuit, Farenthold’s executive assistant told Greene that the congressman had said he was attracted to Greene and had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her.

“For example,” the suit said, “in addition to the comments specifically mentioned, above, Farenthold would compliment Plaintiff’s appearance, or comment on her wardrobe, and then joke that he hoped his compliments did not constitute sexual harassment. On one specific occasion, Farenthold told Greene that she had something on her skirt and that he hoped his comment wouldn’t be taken for sexual harassment. A reasonable person would infer that Farenthold was joking that she had semen on her skirt.”

“On another occasion, Farenthold told Plaintiff that her skirt was partially unzipped at the top,” the lawsuit said. “Plaintiff went to the bathroom to zip her skirt, and she realized that the opening was so small that Farenthold would have had to be staring at her closely to notice.”

Greene says in the lawsuit that she had a breakfast meeting in June 2014 with the congressman to complain about chief of staff Bob Haueter’s behavior towards her. She said she was fired less than one month later.

Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Farenthold, said in a statement Wednesday: “As is the case with any pending legal situation, the congressman cannot comment on the specifics of the complaint, however, it goes without saying that both the congressman and the members of his staff who are included in this complaint have a very different view of the allegations than Ms. Greene.”

“For the record,” Bardella continued, “the office did not and does not discriminate based on sex or any other unlawful factor. The congressman is eager to respond to Ms. Greene’s allegations through the appropriate legal process and is confident that once all of the facts are revealed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”

Farenthold is known as one of the more colorful members of Congress. He garnered press in 2009 after photos surfaced of him wearing ducky pajamas while attending a party.

It was also recently revealed that the congressman has owned the rights to the domain “blow-me.org” since 2009. His office said the congressman has no plans to renew that domain when it expires.

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