Republican activist Matt Schlapp has been accused of making “sustained and unwanted and unsolicited” sexual advances toward a staffer for Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign, the Daily Beast reported on Wednesday night. According to the staffer, whose identity the Daily Beast withheld, the incident occurred while he was driving Schlapp back to a Hilton Garden Inn from an Atlanta bar on Oct. 19.
“Matt Schlapp of the CPAC grabbed my junk and pummeled it at length, and I’m sitting there thinking what the hell is going on, that this person is literally doing this to me,” the staffer said in a video he recorded that night that was shared with the Daily Beast.
Schlapp has denied the accusation through his attorney Charlie Spies, who said the Daily Beast was trying to “attack” Schlapp. “This appears to be now the twelfth Daily Beast piece with personal attacks on Matt Schlapp and his family,” Spies wrote in a statement. “The attack is false and Mr. Schlapp denies any improper behavior. We are evaluating legal options for response.”
The staffer recalled Schlapp saying he’d wanted to discuss his professional future that night, the Daily Beast reported. Schlapp, who chairs the American Conservative Union and helps organize the Conservative Political Action Conference, allegedly “groped” and “fondled” the staffer’s crotch after talking at a couple of bars.
He also claimed that Schlapp repeatedly intruded on his personal space at the bars. “It was a public space, and I was thinking that he got the hint,” he told the Daily Beast. “I did not want to embarrass him. But it escalated.”
When he drove Schlapp back to his hotel, the conservative leader allegedly groped at his crotch, which the staffer called “scarring” and “humiliating.” Since he was due to drive Schlapp to the airport the next day, he reportedly told his supervisor and a senior campaign official on the Walker campaign about the incident that morning. The official was “immediately horrified” before relieving him of his chauffeuring duties, according to the Daily Beast’s reporting.
The staffer said he then sent Schlapp a text: “I did want to say I was uncomfortable with what happened last night,” he said. “The campaign does have a driver who is available to get you to Macon and back to the airport.”
Schlapp then requested that the staffer call him, but he declined, per the Daily Beast. Schlapp reportedly called him three times after he sent the text, but the staffer did not answer or return the calls, according to the Daily Beast’s review of the phone records. According to the staffer, they haven’t spoken since.
A senior Walker official confirmed details of the campaign’s involvement to the Daily Beast, and added that the campaign initiated a meeting between the staffer and an attorney. The staffer told the news outlet he was satisfied with how the campaign handled the accusations.