Three separate, named women have separately accused Trump’s EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland of repeated acts of sexual misconduct while he was in a situation of physical, financial and professional power over them. Sondland refutes the accusations.
The three women’s stories were collectively reported by Propublica and Portland Monthly, and one of the accusers is Portland Monthly cofounder Nicole Vogel (her story was reported by Propublica). Third parties confirmed that all three women told them about Sondland’s attacks on them at the time.
The women dreaded speaking publicly about Sondland’s attacks because, they say, he wields tremendous political and commercial influence over Portland, Oregon, where the women live and where Sondland created his hotel empire, whose earnings enabled him to donate $1,000,000 to the Trump inauguration.
The stories the women tell share general elements. Sondland’s lawyers accused Propublica of “witness tampering” in the Trump impeachment inquiry, and suggested that the women had manufactured accounts of Sondland’s sexual attacks — groping, exposing himself, attempting to kiss them — because he had spurned their bids to have him support them financially.
According to Vogel, Sondland had presented himself as a possible investor in her magazine, but after she repeatedly refused his sexual advances, he left the deal. Sondland’s lawyers accused Vogel of being an associate of Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer and hinted that her accusation had been motivated as part of a conjectured vendetta by Blumenauer against Sondland. Vogel disclaims any connection to Blumenauer.
Jana Solis was a safety engineer who was pitching Sondland’s hotel chain on behalf of her firm. According to her, when he agreed to give her firm his business, he touched her ass and told her she was his “hotel chick.” Solis states that Sondland later exposed himself to her and tried to kiss her, and when she declined his advances, he bullied her.
Natalie Sept was a young woman who worked on the campaign for a city councilor whom Sondland had distributed money to. She says he volunteered to mentor her and help her discover her next career, but after he insisted on following her to a restaurant parking lot and then attempted to kiss her and she refused him, she says he abandoned his plans to help her find work with the state film commission, which he chaired for more than a decade.
Sondland denies all claims. His lawyers made this statement available.
Multiple Women Recall Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation by Gordon Sondland [Julia Silverman, Kelly Clarke, Fiona McCann, Maryam Jameel and Doris Burke/Portland Monthly & Propublica]