Politics

First Conyers Accuser Goes Public

Congressman reportedly hospitalized with stress-related illness, local media reports

The attorney for Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., denied he is resigning from Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 9:30 a.m. | The first woman who accused Michigan Rep. John Conyers of sexual harassment came forward Thursday in an interview on the “Today” show amid reports that the congressman has been hospitalized in Detroit.

Marion Brown said that she is speaking despite having a non-disclosure agreement.

“I want to be a voice,” she said. “My ancestors, my grandmother, my daughters, my granddaughter, I want her when she enters the work force, long when I'm long gone, I want her to not have to endure sexism and gender inequality.”

Meanwhile, Detroit station WWJ reported that Conyers has been hospitalized for a stress-related illness.

Family spokesperson Sam Riddle told the station Thursday morning that Conyers is being treated at a local hospital. Riddle declined to tell WWJ what Conyers is suffering from, but reports indicate it is stress-related.

Brown’s interview came after the Michigan Democrat’s attorney said he has no plans to resign “at this juncture” amid accusations of sexual harassment.

“Right now, in our first round of talks, the theme of our conversation is, what is in the best interests of his family, what is in the best interest of his constituents,” Arnold Reed told the Detroit Free Press.

Reed also denied a report from Detroit TV station WDIV-TV that Conyers would announce he would not seek re-election in January, calling it “not accurate.”

“Every consideration is on the table,” Reed said. 

Watch: Democratic Leaders Decline to Call For Conyers to Resign

Conyers flew back to Detroit on Wednesday and missed multiple votes, including a unanimous vote to require sexual harassment training for House staff and members.

Reed said it was not clear how long it would take for Conyers to make a decision about staying in Congress.

“He is deliberate. He doesn’t make knee-jerk decisions,” he said.

Back at his home in Detroit, Conyers’ wife Monica criticized reporters for staking out his home and asked them if they “go and stalk white people’s houses.”

Conyers has been under fire ever since Buzzfeed reported that he paid a woman who accused him of harassment $27,000 under a confidentiality agreement.

But Monica Conyers said she wants the person who made allegations against her husband to be named publicly.

Conyers’ son John Conyers III said his father was being held to an unfair standard.

“And I think that if we’re not going to make Al Franken resign when we have evidence of him groping a woman while she was asleep ... it’s disconcerting to me to see the way my father is being treated after he’s given so much to this country, not just for black people but for people alike. He fights for everyone,” John Conyers III said.

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