Sondland Won’t Resign After Three Sexual Misconduct Allegations

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Union, waits to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 20, 20... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Union, waits to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the fourth day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals and the unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukrainians, not Russians, were behind the 2016 computer hacking of the Democratic National Committee. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 29, 2019 10:50 a.m.
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Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland will not resign after three women came forward with detailed accounts of his sexual misconduct.

According to Politico, an associate said that he has “no intention” of resigning in the future. Sondland has also denied all of the accusations.

The accusations were first published Tuesday by Portland Monthly, a magazine based out of Sondland’s hometown, in partnership with ProPublica. Sondland, a hotel magnate, is a prominent businessman in Portland and has multiple hotels there.

In all of the cases, spanning 2003 to 2011, the women claim that they were working with Sondland for professional reasons when he made sexual advances. All three say that they brushed him off, prompting his professional retaliation.

Nicole Vogel, the owner of Portland Monthly, originally met Sondland 16 years ago when trying to obtain funding for the magazine. Her connection to the magazine prompted its editorial board to work with ProPublica, to ensure an independent report.

At the time, he took Vogel to dinner and told her that he would invest, before taking her across the street to see one of his hotels. In the hotel room, she said that he lunged at her and forcibly kissed her.

She allegedly used a well-practiced line — “Gordon, you’re a married man, and you’d just break my heart” — before slipping away.

She kept a scheduled lunch date with him after that, knowing that getting the magazine into his hotel rooms would be a coup for her fledgling company. He allegedly put his hand on her thigh during the car ride, and she put hers on top so he wouldn’t keep trying to touch her. After the lunch, he said that he’d no longer be investing.

Jana Solis, a hospitality safety engineer, met Sondland in 2008. A business associate set up a lunch for the two of them, which Solis said Sondland ended by “slapping” her “on the ass.”

He then invited her to evaluate his art collection, which she agreed to in order to keep the account. At one point, when she came back from the bathroom, he allegedly was naked from the waist down. She tried to figure out how to reject the advance without losing a major business account and her ride home, and apologized if she’d given him the wrong impression.

Later, when she was inspecting one of his hotels for her job, he told her to come see the penthouse — without mentioning that it was his private lodging. As he allegedly tried to kiss her and touch her, she wiggled away so aggressively that she fell over the back of the couch.

After that, Sondland allegedly called Solis, screaming at her about her job performance. A colleague came upon Solis sobbing at her desk as Sondland’s raised voice streamed in through the speakerphone. She left the account.

The third woman, Natalie Sept, came into contact with Sondland in 2010 after she led a Portland City Council member’s campaign to success. After a dinner, he took her to a bar. When she came back from the bathroom, he was sitting in a booth and gestured to the seat next to him. She abruptly ended the evening, though he allegedly insisted on walking her to her car. There, she said that he tried to kiss her and touch her before she got free and sped away.

After that night, Solis said that she never heard back from him about a job he dangled before her.

Sondland has denied all three women’s accounts, and his lawyer said that they are trying to damage his standing as a witness in the impeachment inquiry.

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