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CPAC's Matt Schlapp & Wife Sued By GOP Staffer For Sex Harassment, Defamation

CPAC's Matt Schlapp & Wife Sued By GOP Staffer For Sex Harassment, Defamation

Mercedes Schlapp and Matt Schlapp speaking onstage at a CPAC event.

The Republican power couple has a lot of explaining to do.

A GOP staffer is suing fellow Republican operatives Matt Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, for sexual harassment and defamation.

Matt Schlapp is the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the organization that hosts CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

The complaint, filed in the Virginia Circuit Court in Alexandria, accuses Matt Schlapp of sexual battery by “aggressively fondling” the man’s “genital area in a sustained fashion” during a car ride near Atlanta on October 19 last year.

The unnamed staffer was working for the Herschel Walker for Senate campaign when the incident allegedly happened. The Daily Beast was the first to report the allegations.

According to the complaint obtained by several media outlets, Matt Schlapp was attending an event in the Georgia town of Perry, about two hours car ride outside of Atlanta. After speaking at the campaign stop, the staffer drove Schlapp back to his hotel in Atlanta. Later, the two met at a bar for a drink, but when that bar was dead, the staffer took Schlapp to another establishment.

Later, during the drive from the bar back to Schlapp’s hotel, the married conservative Republican allegedly reached into the lap of the staffer and touched his leg unwantedly before moving his hand up.

“Mr. Doe did not consent to Mr. Schlapp placing his hand on Mr. Doe’s leg,” the complaint states. “Then, Mr. Schlapp moved his hand and began aggressively fondling Mr. Doe’s genital area in a sustained fashion.”

The document explains that the staffer was frozen in shock.

“Mr. Doe did not consent to Mr. Schlapp’s fondling of his genital area,” the complaint continues. “When they reached the Hotel, Mr. Schlapp invited Mr. Doe to come to his hotel room. Mr. Doe declined the invitation.”

The unidentified staffer provided records of contemporaneous text messages between him and Schlapp that indicate that something had occurred between the two that was the cause for distress.

The man wrote, “I did want to say I was uncomfortable with what happened last night. The campaign does have a driver who is available to get you to Macon and back to the airport.”

According to screenshots of text communications included in the complaint, Schlapp responded to the staffer’s concerned text message.

“If you could see it in your heart to call me at [the] end of [the] day. I would appreciate it. If not I wish you luck on the campaign and hope you keep up the good work,” Schlapp allegedly wrote.

The lawsuit also accuses Mercedes Schlapp, former President Donald J. Trump’s White House director of strategic communication, of conspiring with her husband to discredit the Walker aide.

The New York Times was the first to report on the suit.

Timothy Hyland, one of the accuser’s lawyers, said in a statement that the lawsuit seeking $9.4 million in damages resulted from Schlapp’s failure to acknowledge “his despicable actions.”

“Because Mr. Schlapp has refused to own up to his misbehavior,” Hyland said, “this suit aims to make Mr. Schlapp and those who lie for him accountable for their actions and statements.”

That attorney, Charlie Spies, wrote in a statement, “The Schlapp family is suffering unbearable pain and stress due to the false allegation from an anonymous individual. No family should ever go through this, and the Schlapps and their legal team are assessing counter-lawsuit options,” the Times reports.

The lawsuit states that the complainant’s anonymity protects his safety.

“Because Mr. Schlapp and Ms. Schlapp are well known, and in some quarters revered, amongst a portion of the population that has demonstrated a proclivity for threatening violence against those with whom they disagree, the identification of Mr. Doe poses an unusual risk of retaliatory physical or mental harm to Mr. Doe,” the lawsuit states.

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