SAN DIEGO – A Colorado congresswoman said Monday that former House member and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner tried to forcibly kiss her in an elevator while they served in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, said on “Meet the Press Daily” on MSNBC that when she was new to Congress, a French diplomat put his hand up her dress at a dinner. She then discussed Filner, who served 20 years in Congress before being elected mayor of San Diego in 2012.
Filner resigned under fire the next year after nearly 20 women stepped forward to accuse him of various forms of sexual harassment.
“Some years ago, I was in an elevator, and then-Congressman Bob Filner tried to pin me to the door of the elevator and kiss me, and I pushed him away,” DeGette said in the interview.
She said she was concerned about such actions being taken by men in positions of power, like Filner.
“I mean I was his colleague, he couldn’t take action against me, but believe you me, I never got in an elevator with him again,” DeGette said.
Filner, who represented the southern portion of San Diego County, continued to deny that any sexual harassment occurred despite pleading guilty to sexually harassing three women. He was sentenced to probation and three months of home confinement. He and the city also settled lawsuits with four women.
The latest accusation against him comes amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations touched off by complaints against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Women, and some men, in a variety of fields have come forward in recent weeks to reveal incidents that happened to them. High-profile alleged perpetrators include Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, actor Kevin Spacey and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-San Fernando, who announced Monday morning that he would not seek reelection.
DeGette has been in Congress since 1997, representing a district based in Denver, and is the chief deputy whip.