John Conyers accuser goes public: 'He asked me to sexually satisfy him'

Posted at 8:08 AM, Nov 30, 2017

More than a week after it was first reported that Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Detroit, settled a sexual harassment claim in 2015, the woman he settled with is speaking out.

Marion Brown went public on the 'Today' show on Thursday morning about what she says happened between her and Conyers.

"It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guys discussing business and then propositioning me for sex," Brown told Today. "He just violated my body, he has touched me in different ways and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional."

Conyers, 88, has admitted to paying a settlement to the former staffer but denies her sexual harassment allegations.

In an amended statement released to 7 Action News last week, Conyers said, "I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so.  My office resolved the allegations – with an express denial of liability – in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation."

Brown spoke about one instance in a Chicago hotel room in 2005 that she said still haunts her. 

"He invited me into the hotel and he has undressed down to his underwear. Again, it was the proposition of sexually satisfying him," she said. "He asked me to satisfy him sexually. He pointed to genital areas of his body and asked me to touch it."

"I froze in shock, I didn't know what to do. But one thing I didn't want to lose my job, I didn't want to upset him, and then also, he asked me to find other people that would satisfy him, so I just tried to escape," she added.

Brown told Today that she lived in Chicago and told him she had to go to get out of there.

"I did tell him that I did not want to do that, I didn't feel comfortable," she added.

When asked if Brown told any of her superiors, she said she reported it to Conyers' chief of staff based in Detroit, who was also her boss.

"He said he would talk to the congressman about it, he didn't challenge me in disbelief. He said he would talk to the congressman about his behavior," she said. "I didn't see any change because it continued after that."

Brown signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of the settlement, according to her attorney, but she hasn't been released and is taking a risk in coming forward because she doesn't want her daughters and granddaughters to endure the same sexism that she encountered in the workplace. 

She also said that she will leave it to the ethics committee and Conyers' colleagues to make the final decision.

"All I want is for the congressman to apologize," she said.

Several former staffers accuse the Congressman of sexual misconduct and harassment, two of whom have gone public.

Melanie Sloan spoke with CNN saying Conyers harassed and verbally abused her in the 1990s.

Deanna Maher claims Conyers asked to share a hotel room with her and offered sex, and groped her twice, once at a town hall meeting also in the 1990s.

"He bent down to give me a message in my left ear and he put his hand up my dress and I'm on stage and what do you do in front of all of these people?" said Maher.

Conyers has yet to address the accusations in person, but denies the allegation, speaking through his attorney.

"Any allegation is being taken serious by the Congressman,” said Arnold Reed. “What shouldn't get lost in the translation and what seems to upset people is that a person has a right to defend him or herself against these allegations."

The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into the claims and Conyers stepped down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation.

Watch Brown's entire interview below: