- Several women have come forward with allegations of aggressive sexual behavior against rising GOP star Madison Cawthorn, which he has denied.
- Katrina Krulikas alleges that Cawthorn attempted to forcibly kiss her after she had already rejected one attempt, pressured her to sit on his lap, and questioned her about her sexual history.
- Francesca McDaniel alleges that he forcibly kissed her though she resisted and told him she had a boyfriend.
- An anonymous woman alleges that Cawthorn grabbed her thigh in the dining hall at Patrick Henry College while the two were speaking about a girl he was romantically interested in.
GOP congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn denied three women’s allegations that he behaved in a sexually aggressive manner toward them.
Cawthorn, who bested his opponent Lynda Bennett in June despite her endorsement from President Donald Trump, has campaigned on a platform emphasizing “faith, family, and freedom.” The 25-year-old North Carolina candidate was left paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident when he was 18 and campaigns on the idea that overcoming his own personal tragedy makes him better fit to represent his fellow Americans.
Two women, Katrina Krulikas and Francesca McDaniel, separately said they knew Cawthorn before his political career and told WORLD Magazine that Cawthorn grabbed their faces and forcibly kissed them after they rejected previous advances. They also said he made them uncomfortable by questioning their sexual history.
A third woman, who remained unnamed, said he put his hand on her upper thigh in a public setting. WORLD notes that it corroborated each account with at least one other individual.
Cawthorn denied these allegations through a spokesman in a Sunday statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Madison has no recollection of the anonymous accusation and denies being forceful in the other two circumstances,” campaign spokesman John Hart told the DCNF. “Sadly, in the Kavanaugh age, nothing will satisfy a woke mob that decides someone is guilty of sexual misconduct until proven innocent.”
Hart also called the WORLD story a “mix of half-truths, untruths and potentially fabricated allegations based on double anonymous sources.”
WORLD reported that the Republican’s campaign did not respond to repeated requests for an interview “to discuss these accounts,” though Hart noted to WORLD in a written statement that Cawthorn apologized to one of the women “if his attempt to kiss her when he was a teenager made her feel uncomfortable or unsafe.”
“There is a big difference between a failed advance and being forceful, to the extent that’s possible when you’re a paraplegic,” Hart told the DCNF. “If being guilty of an awkward, failed advance is a disqualifying event every male in public office should resign.”
Krulikas told WORLD that in fall 2014, when she was 17 and Cawthorn was 19, Cawthorn attempted to forcibly kiss her after she had already rejected a previous attempt. She also said she felt pressured to sit on his lap and that he questioned her about her sexual history.
Krulikas said the incident occurred in a secluded field where Cawthorn had driven her as a date. Both were part of the same Christian homeschool community, she told WORLD. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Madison Cawthorn Responds To Backlash Over Visit To Hitler’s ‘Eagles Nest,’ Liking Betsy Ross Flag)
Krulikas’s friend, Lizbeth Sherill, reportedly received a text message from the Cawthorn campaign urging her to vote for Cawthorn earlier this year. Sherill, who said Krulikas told her about the alleged incident with Cawthorn a few weeks after it occurred, assumed the message was automated and texted back that she would not be voting for Cawthorn because of how he had allegedly treated her friend.
Krulikas received texts from a person identifying themselves as Madison Cawthorn on Feb. 3, WORLD reports. The texts, which WORLD reported it viewed, allegedly said the campaign was told Cawthorn “sexually assaulted [my] friend Katrina in high school.”
“I remember you and I went on a date to that campfire years ago and I remember I asked if I could kiss you, you said no, but I thought you were just being coy and then I really quickly kissed you and that’s all I can remember,” the text said, according to WORLD. “I can see in hindsight how that was over the line and I am sorry.”
Krulikas told WORLD: “This message came six years after the fact, when … he faces the possibility of public scrutiny.”
Hart told WORLD in a statement that voters should “process this unfounded allegation with common sense and grace.” He noted that this “was one of Madison’s first dates after he was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.”
Hart also said Cawthorn reached out to Krulikas after the matter was brought to the campaign’s attention and apologized if he made her feel “uncomfortable or unsafe.”
Cawthorn “was relieved when Ms. [Krulikas] shared that she does not feel like a victim. It’s unfortunate that she is now being used by Democrats to further their political agenda,” Hart told WORLD.
Krulikas told WORLD that she was not “put up by any Democrats.” She also posted about the incident on Instagram Friday.
McDaniel alleges that on May 29, 2015, Cawthorn pulled her face in and kissed her while in his car after she told him wasn’t interested in him. She said she resisted and said she had a boyfriend.
She also said he asked her personal questions about her boyfriend, why she was a virgin and discussed his genitalia, WORLD reports.
McDaniel, who agreed to go public with her story after she saw Krulikas post her allegations against Cawthorn on Instagram, also alleges that Cawthorn repeatedly assured her that no one would find out about the incident.
“I felt, like, pressured to give in to it because he started being aggressive, and he is a strong guy,” she told WORLD. “He had buff arms and worked out his upper body a lot.” (RELATED: 24-Year-Old Madison Cawthorn Wins GOP Nomination For Mark Meadows’s Seat In Stunning Upset)
Another woman, who remained anonymous out of fear that speaking would jeopardize her job with the federal government, told WORLD that Cawthorn publicly grabbed her thigh while the two were speaking in the dining hall at Patrick Henry College, which they both attended.
The woman was 19 at the time and alleges that Cawthorn was chatting with her about whether one of her friends would agree to go on a date with him. During the conversation, she alleges, Cawthorn placed his hand on her upper left leg near the hem of her dress.
“His hand was on the side, and his fingers were on the back of my leg,” she told WORLD. She said she did not report the alleged incident to the school’s authorities, though she did tell her roommate, who confirmed to WORLD that the woman told her about the allegation.
“Going to a Christian school—no one does stuff like that,” the anonymous Cawthorn accuser told the publication. “He was talking to me and then he moved his hand up my skirt. Not significantly but enough to where it was under my skirt and not appropriate.”
“It was in public where people could see,” she continued. “It was a super weird situation where we were talking about another girl that he liked, but he was touching me.”
Hart said that it is “shocking and disappointing that WORLD would “participate in left-wing, campaign season character assassination,” comparing the allegations against Cawthorn.
The Cawthorn spokesman told the DCNF that WORLD didn’t provide details to Cawthorn’s campaign regarding the second two allegations.
The campaign didn’t respond to repeated interview requests between Friday and Sunday when the story was posted, WORLD told the DCNF in a statement. WORLD said it told the campaign that it wanted to ask about additional allegations in an interview and warned that it would publish the story without an interview if the campaign didn’t respond before noon Sunday.
WORLD told the DCNF that Hart contacted the publication three hours after the story was posted.
“In a phone conversation, when Deputy Editor Michael Reneau and reporter Harvest Prude wouldn’t agree to an off-the-record conversation, Hart hung up without answering our questions,” the WORLD statement said.
Hart provided the DCNF with a statement he sent to WORLD after his phone conversation with Reneau and Prude in which he acknowledged the numerous interview requests and said that Prude did not lay out the specifics of the second two allegations against Cawthorn.
“Finally, we were cautioned against communicating with Ms. Prude at all by people who know her because they claimed she was politically liberal, antagonist toward Madison based on past interactions, and could not be trusted to be objective,” Hart said in his emailed statement to WORLD. “We engaged with her anyway. Sadly, those warnings seemed to be well-founded.”
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