Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., denied Tuesday that he settled a complaint in 2015 from a former female staffer who said he fired her because she rejected his sexual advances.
The Associated Press spoke to Conyers at his home in Detroit, and the congressman said he was unaware of allegations he inappropriately touched female staffers. Conyers, 88, said he heard about the accusations made against him on television.
“I have been looking at these things in amazement,” Conyers told the Associated Press regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against politicians and others.
BuzzFeedNews reported Monday Conyers settled a wrongful dismissal case in 2015 after a former female staffer accused him of wrongfully firing her. Conyers’ office paid the woman more than $27,000 to settle the complaint against him.
An affidavit signed by four former staffers who worked in Conyers’ office said the congressman made unwanted sexual advances to female staff.
Conyers also allegedly asked female staffers for sexual favors, caressed or touched them inappropriately while in public, and had members of his staff contact and transport women to Washington, D.C., for him. Staffers believed Conyers was having affairs with those women.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the accusations against Conyers “extremely troubling,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she didn’t know about the settlement involving Conyers.