United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was accused of sexual misconduct and retaliation by three women. The allegations, which predate his time as an ambassador, were revealed publicly on Wednesday.
Sondland, who is at the center of the impeachment proceedings into President Trump, was accused by three women of unwanted advances. The allegations were first reported by ProPublica and the Portland Monthly.
In one case, Nicole Vogel alleged that she met Sondland in 2003 as she tried to obtain funding for a new magazine she wanted to launch — she now owns and runs Portland Monthly. While he initially liked her idea and agreed to put in at least $25,000, that offer was changed after she turned down his advances. Vogel claims that after their first meeting about the potential business venture, Sondland invited her to one of the hotels he runs and he tried kissing her.
“I remember seeing my hand drop from the door handle,” she said. “I turned around, and he’s standing right behind me, and he says, ‘Can I just have a hug first?’” She added, “As I pulled back, he grabs my face and goes to kiss me.”
She claims that during a second meeting weeks later, he kept his hand on her thigh for 10 minutes while they drove to a restaurant that was out of the way. He allegedly then changed the terms of her agreement, saying that he would donate $10,000 instead and would only do that if she raised an additional $100,000. (Read more from “Impeachment Witness Accused of Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation Prior to Ambassadorship” HERE)