New Ad Campaign Says Sen. Sherrod Brown Is Facing A ‘#MeToo Moment’

(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
Font Size:

A new Ohio-based PAC is running an ad campaign targeting Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown for allegedly abusing his ex-wife.

#MeTooOhio says they are “striving to hold accountable the men who hold on to powerful positions while having a history of domestic violence of women.” On Thursday morning, the PAC launched an ad campaign calling out Sen. Brown’s alleged history of domestic abuse and demanding he resign from his U.S. Senate seat.

“Now, Senator Sherrod Brown is facing his own #MeToo moment from his past,” a video ad by Me Too Ohio states. “These court records show sworn evidence that Brown’s ex-wife accused him of abusing her. She said Brown assaulted her. A judge had to issue a restraining order.”


In 1986, Sen. Brown was in the midst of a tense divorce with his then-wife of seven years, Larke Recchie. Records from the Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Ohio show that Recchie said in her divorce complaint that Brown “has been guilty of gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty.”

Recchie also sought a restraining order against Brown to keep him from “doing bodily harm” to her. Recchie claimed to be “in fear for the safety and well-being of myself and our children due to [Brown’s] physical violence and abusive nature” and said Brown “intimidated, pushed, shoved and bullied” her on multiple occasions.

A judge granted a seven-count restraining order against Brown. Recchie soon accused Brown of violating the order and said he “pushed me up against the wall with his arms in order to pass and entered the house.”

According to a Columbus Dispatch article from 1989, Recchie again accused her ex-husband of violent behavior. This time, she said, Brown pounded on her door so hard that he broke it and assaulted her new husband, Joseph Recchie. Both Recchies filed police reports at the time but did not end up pressing charges.

Brown has denied the allegations repeatedly, saying that he’s “never hurt” his ex-wife.

Recchie now says that her allegations were only “angry words” as part of an “unfriendly” divorce. Brown’s current wife says the idea that he could be abusive is “preposterous.”

Political opponents who have brought up the allegations against Brown — including Margaret Mueller and Josh Mandel — were accused of unfairly wading into private, family issues.

In fact, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence said Mandel was actually the one being “abusive” by thrusting Brown’s family into a “negative spotlight.”

#MeToo Ohio, however, says the allegations against Sen. Brown show a contradiction with his claim that he is a champion for women.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy for him to claim to be an advocate for women with these disturbing charges in his past,” #MeToo Ohio Communications Coordinator Alice Stewart said. “It’s time to demonstrate, yet again, that women deserve to be believed.”

In 2012, Brown was a strong proponent of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act with additional protections for illegal aliens and LGBT persons. He accused the “extreme right” of launching a “war on women’s health and economic security.”

According to #MeToo Ohio, the time has come for Sen. Brown to come clean about the alleged abuse and resign from his Senate seat.

“#MeToo Ohio urges Ohioans to call Congress and demand laws that allow every domestic violence victim be heard. Furthermore, Senator Brown should resign immediately and no longer hide behind his Washington title,” the PAC says.

Sen. Brown’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

 Follow Amber on Twitter